Queen’s Men’s Volleyball ranked seventh in Canada

Doubleheader victory over Nipissing shuffles national standings

Image by: Max Yi
Gaels sync a block.

Queen’s Men’s Volleyball faced off against the Nipissing Lakers this weekend in a doubleheader at the ARC. Queen’s took Friday’s game in five sets, and Saturday’s game in four.

On Friday, both the Gaels and Lakers struggled to pull ahead as each of the sets finished with the teams within three points of each other. In Saturday’s game, however, the Gaels pulled out all the stops to take down a nationally-ranked Nipissing team.

The Gaels began their second game strong; their offense had the Lakers scrambling. They lead in points for the whole set and took it 25-17.

The Lakers responded by starting the next set off with a long serving run, forcing the Gaels to call a timeout which successfully stopped the Laker run. 

The Gaels trailed in points the whole set, anddespite big hits from outside Erik Siksna and middle Cole Duncanson, the Gaels couldn’t pull it together and lost the set 25-18.

The third set had intense back and forth play. Right as the Lakers were starting to get a lead, Reed Venning—a first year middle—subbed in to serve as Head Coach Gabriel deGroot made a change to flip the game in the Gaels’ favour.

“My team need[ed] me,” Venning said in a post game interview with The Journal

“Being a first year if I get put in, I got to do my job so that was my mindset. Just stay calm; just do what I usually do.”

He did exactly that; his three successful serves turned the set for Queen’s. 

He followed his first run with another one on his next serve rotation—this time he went for seven. According to Venning, he’d been off his serving game during the past week.

“Funnily enough, my serves have not been great this week, so it was kind of surprising that I popped off a bit,” he said.

However, if this is how he serves on an off week, fans better stay tuned for when he’s dialled in. He credited his improved serve to working with DeGroot.

“I changed my approach. Working with coach Gabe has been amazing, so it’s been a long time coming that that happened,” Venning said. 

In the end, Venning finished with a game-high five serving aces as the Gaels won the third set 25-22.

Cole Duncanson—the Gael’s star middle who finished with seven kills—reflected on the team’s comeback after the game.

“I think we did a really good job coming together after we lost that second set […] we did a really good job of rallying together and staying tight as a unit.”

Heading into the fourth set, it was clear the energy in the ARC had shifted. 

Despite some back and forth, the Gaels held a consistent lead and ended the game 25-19 with a kill from Derek Chiang. He led the team in digs, with even more than the libero.

Coming out of this double header, the Men’s Volleyball team is on a five-game win streak despite some struggles earlier in the season. 

According to Duncanson, a strong team leader on and off the court, this win streak can be attributed to a change in the team chemistry. 

“In the last couple of weeks, we felt like we needed a change, so we came together as a team, had some good talks, and we decided on some new team standards and team rules.”

“So far it seems to be paying off so hopefully that trajectory continues.”

The bench enthusiasm played a huge role in boosting the team’s spirit. First years Lazar Paroski and Nikola Mitrovic enthusiastically led eccentric cheers after every single Gael point. 

The Gaels play their final home game of the season against the Western Mustangs on Feb. 3 at the ARC. Tickets are free for all Queen’s students.  


ARC, Men's Volleyball, nationally ranked, Nipissing, Reed Venning, win

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