Queen’s Men’s Volleyball fights hard until the end

Gaels surrender quarterfinal game to the York Lions

Image supplied by: Supplied by James Paddle Grant
Men's Volleyball should be proud of their season.

This past Saturday, the Gaels men’s volleyball team faced off against the York Lions for the first round of OUA playoffs. They were defeated in four sets.

Despite the loss, the Gaels fought hard and showed off the team chemistry they developed over the season. Queen’s scored more points, blocks, and service aces than York, proving themselves worthy opponents.  

Reed Venning—a rookie who went on to lead the team in blocks—obtained the first Gael kill of the night in the first set. The set went point for point until the Lions took off at the ten-point mark, getting out to a five point lead the Gaels were unable to close, even after strong attacks from outsides Lachlan McBride and Erik Siksna. 

The Gaels were slow to react to York’s attacks—often caught watching the ball drop—which contributed to York taking the first set 25-21.

The Gaels came into the second set with clear determination.  They started on a five-point run and kept their momentum going throughout.

They were powerhouses at the net—both on defense and offense—setting up big blocks that York couldn’t penetrate and attacks which proved impossible to defend. Nearly all players on the court obtained kills, with even libero Shane Gabel adding one to his statistics.

In the end, Queen’s determination paid off and they crushed the Lions 25-15. This victory marked their first in the Lion’s den all season.

The third and fourth sets of the game were extremely close in points. The Gaels were no longer observers of the ball, instead demonstrating drive and hustle. Gabel, always the team’s defensive specialist, was everywhere during several long rallies.

This hustle, however, couldn’t secure a win as the Gaels fell 26-24 in both the third and fourth set to end their playoff campaign.

Despite the loss, this game still marked a huge improvement to the Gaels performance as a team. Prior to the quarter final match, Queen’s had faced York twice in the regular season and surrendered both games in straight sets.

The Gaels had an overall rocky start to their season. According to McBride in a post-game interview with The Journal, the team was “in a tough spot earlier on in the year.”

Throughout the season, the Gaels put in hard work to improve their chemistry, leading to their improved record in the second semester and resulting playoff bid.

“It was really just guys coming together, talking about what we need off and on the court. In training holding guys more accountable, how to get the best out of everyone on the team,” McBride said.

“That process was pretty tough but being on the other side of it brought our group together and we’re meshing really well together off the court and on the court.”

Gabel also provided insight into the work that the team put in over the season.

“We had a player’s only team meeting after the start of the second semester [where] we sort of aligned our values and talked about things we wanted to change and things we weren’t happy with.”

Gabel said the team also followed the one percent rule where everyone “[tried] to better themselves by one percent every day, every week and it add[ed] up to a lot over a long period.”

Although Queen’s Men’s Volleyball didn’t accomplish the outcome they wanted in their quest for the Forsyth Cup, their team chemistry will keep giving for many seasons to come.


OUA, playoffs, Volleyball, York

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