The Gaels played two games last weekend and found themselves on both sides of a lopsided result.
Last Friday, Queen’s (3-3) put the boot to the RMC Paladins (0-7) in three quick sets, winning 25-8, 25-18 and 25-15.
It was a different story in Sunday’s matchup with the Ottawa Gee-Gees (3-2). Ottawa led comfortably the entire match, sweeping it 25-17, 25-19 and 25-21.
Fifth-year middle blocker Katie Hagarty said she thought the Ottawa match was going to be a more competitive affair.
“That wasn’t what we expected going into it,” Hagarty said. “Thought it would be more of a game.”
Queen’s was dominated at the net in Sunday’s game. While both teams earned two solo blocks, the Gaels combined for only four assisted blocks — well below Ottawa’s 18.
“They’re a big team,” Hagarty said. “They’ve always been a big blocking team and that’s not exactly our strong suit.
“With more practice, we’ll get there,” she added. “We have tall players and we’re pretty dynamic, I think we just need to click a bit better and it’ll happen.”
Queen’s committed 10 errors in the first set, but kept pace with the Gee-Gees for several minutes and were up 9-8 at one point. Ottawa then scored five straight points to begin pulling away.
The Gaels were competitive early once again in the second, trailing just 10-9 before the Gee-Gees ratcheted up the pressure to eventually take the set.
Gaels outside hitter Shannon Neville recorded a team-high 10 kills against Ottawa and registered seven digs. Libero Becky Wilson added a further 12 digs.
Hagarty said the Gee-Gees’ match will be a teaching moment for the Gaels this year.
“I think we’re going to take that and learn from it and bring it into this weekend,” she said.
Two days before the Ottawa game, the women blew through RMC.
The Gaels came out strong, limiting the Paladins to eight points in the opening set. The stranglehold never let up in the straight-set victory.
Outside hitter Shannon Hopkins drove in 15 kills and added 12 digs, while libero Alexa Scarcello contributed 10 digs.
Setter Danielle Blumentrath saw the court well, racking up 30 assists.
Hagarty had four kills, 10 digs and five total blocks over the two games.
“I was kind of frustrated with my attacking game,” she said. “I felt like I could’ve contributed more to the team in that regard. I think my serving was pretty good, though.”
The Gaels are on the road today to take on the Waterloo Warriors (1-6).
“They have really good outside hitters,” Hagarty said. “They know how to score so we’re just going to key in on them, try and block them, dig them, get them frustrated and play it that way.”
In her fifth year with the team, Hagarty is familiar with the older Warriors.
“They’re fighters — they’re very scrappy,” she said. “They’ll go for things that you don’t expect. But so are we, so I think we can handle it.”
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