This weekend, the Queen’s Men’s Volleyball team faced off against the Brock Badgers in St. Catharines where they lost both games of their double header. Friday’s loss marked the end of their seven-game win streak.
Before this weekend, the Gaels’ last OUA game against the Badgers was last year’s OUA bronze medal game, in which they emerged victorious.
The Gaels started off Friday’s game strong, going point for point with the Badgers. However, they struggled with their defence as starting libero Shane Gabel notably missed the game.
Brock’s right side attacks proved difficult for the Gaels to stop, and the Badgers didn’t let up.
The Gaels pulled together toward the end of the first set and took it 25-23 with the help of strong hits from Cole Duncanson and Erik Siksna. Duncanson—one of the best players in the OUA right now—accrued an impressive 17 kills over the weekend.
However, the Gaels trailed throughout the second set of Friday’s game, their deficit accentuated by service errors—they lead the OUA in this unfortunate category.
The relentless attacks from the right side continued, but the Gaels responded and started to get a handle on the block to finish the game with a total of 13 blocks. They fought hard right to the end of the set but surrendered it 25-19.
The third set was marked by a more notable point separation, with the Gaels fighting for a comeback. Brock’s outside hitter Kylar Code was a big asset for the Badgers with 17 game kills, most of which came from the right side. He led them to another 25-19 win.
The fourth set started in a similar manner to the third, as the Gaels trailed with a significant point separation. Queen’s, however, managed to close the point gap, bringing the game to 17-17 after capitalizing on some mistakes on the Badgers’ side. Despite the midgame tie, the Gaels were unable to finish and lost the fourth set 25-22.
Saturday’s game was a closer matchup, with the Gaels falling to the badgers in five sets.
Through both games, Gaels first-year setter Chris Zimmerman stayed consistent. He has accumulated 475 career assists, an impressive statistic for a rookie. He set up many good plays to help Siksna lead the weekend in kills with 37.
Siksna currently leads the OUA in hitting percentage, is second in number of kills, and fourth in number of kills per set. The commentators praised his attack skills and spoke about the wide range of volleyball weapons in his arsenal.
Despite their two losses this weekend, the Gaels are still ranked fifth in the OUA and are in the running to host playoffs.
Next, they face off against the tenth-ranked Waterloo Warriors on Feb. 17 and 18. The game is free to stream on OUA.tv.
Brock, Erik Siksna, loss, OUA, Volleyball
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