Women’s volleyball’s senior players won the final regular season game they’ll play at the ARC.
After falling in straight sets to the undefeated Toronto Varsity Blues (15-0) on Saturday, the Gaels (11-5) bounced back to sweep the Ryerson Rams (11-4) the next afternoon.
With three games remaining in their season, Queen’s holds the fourth and final playoff spot in the OUA East. They’re two wins ahead of the fifth-place York Lions (9-6).
Gaels middle blocker Katie Hagarty said the playoff race is a major focus for her and her teammates.
“All we’re thinking about right now is what we can do to make playoffs,” Hagarty said. “Every time we have a team meeting, it’s talking about how we need to win.”
Hagarty added that the team needs to focus on winning their remaining games, so they won’t have to count on other teams losing to secure a post-season spot.
As it stands, both Toronto and Ryerson are set to join Queen’s in the OUA’s elimination rounds.
“We know we can beat these teams — it’s just whether or not we show up,” Hagarty said. “In playoff games and big games, we show up. So hopefully we can do that again.”
The Gaels came out flat and were unable to get their passing game going against the Varsity Blues. Toronto took advantage of Queen’s mistakes, rolling to a 25-18, 25-17, 25-17 win.
“We didn’t play that well [against Toronto]. We couldn’t pass very well and when you don’t pass, you can’t run the middle,” Hagarty said. “Everything went bad, so that was really rough — probably one of the worst games we played all year.”
The Gaels bounced back quickly against Ryerson, taking the opening set 25-8. Hagarty said the team’s negative feelings about the Toronto game helped spur them to victory.
The Rams match was the final home contest for Queen’s senior players, including Hagarty.
“We really wanted to finish our career here with a win and we got one, which was nice,” she said.
The Gaels wrapped up the remaining sets by scores of 25-19 and 25-16. Shannon Neville led the Gaels with 10 kills, while Hagarty added nine.
The Gaels travel to Ottawa this weekend to face the second-place Ottawa Gee-Gees (12-3) on Saturday. The Gee-Gees swept the Gaels in their previous matchup on Nov. 9.
Hagarty said Queen’s has improved heavily since the loss, and will be in a better position to challenge Ottawa this time around.
“We’ve changed a lot since then and grown a lot, and there’s no doubt in my mind that we can beat them,” she said.
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