The Queen’s men’s volleyball team kept their strong exhibition play going in the regular season with a straight-sets win over RMC.
Now riding a four-game win streak and improving their record to 6-3, Queen’s has jumped to third in the OUA East standings. They’re tied for points with second-place Ryerson with a game in hand.
Although it wasn’t the cleanest of games, strong play from both setter Zane Grossinger and outside hitter Zac Hutcheson propelled the Gaels to a comfortable sweep of the Paladins.
Queen’s was solid from the outset—they gained a lead of 8-7 and refused to give it up for the rest of the set. The Gaels ended up winning the set by a whopping score of 25-16, looking confident in their play as they tried to add to their win streak.
The second set was more of the same for Queen’s. Building on the play from the previous set and keeping their foot on the gas, they broke out to a 9-2 lead. The lead continued to grow, and the set ended with a score of 25-15.
In the final set, Head Coach Gabriel DeGroot deployed his secondary unit, with the exception of keeping Hutcheson on, to close the game out.
This was the closest set out of the whole match—the final score was decided by only two points. Queen’s won it 25-23 to complete the sweep of the game, as well as the season series.
In an interview with The Journal after the win, Coach DeGroot explained his decision to keep the second unit out there. “The main reason to get the second unit in was to get the starters a break, give [the backups] some playing time, and get them warm.”
In spite of the dominant win, DeGroot still had some criticism, and things for the team to build on.
“It was kind of messy, we didn’t capitalize on some pretty easy situations. They give a lot of free balls over, they send a lot of off-speed shots, and we need to be able to put those on the money and put those away offensively, and I don’t think we played that very crisp.”
Now in the second half of their season, Queen’s will attempt to build on their win streak and continue to fight to repeat the OUA Championship season they had last year.
However, DeGroot didn’t want to get too ahead of himself, instead outlining smaller goals to reach before the end of the season: “If we can put ourselves in a position to host the first round of playoffs, that would be great. We know what the final four is going be in the West, so if we can put ourselves in the position to host the first round, it would be a big advantage.”
“Apart from that, we haven’t had a super clean year yet, so we can’t really think that far ahead. We just gotta get a little bit better.”
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