Unforced errors cost volleyball Gaels

Women lose season opener to Brock

The women’s volleyball team opened its season last Saturday in St. Catharines with a hard-fought but ultimately disappointing match against the Brock Badgers.

Head coach Chris Galbraith said the women looked uncomfortable from the beginning.

“In the warm-up we looked like we were tense and nervous.” He said Brock had the advantage of
already having played their first game the day before. The Gaels made Brock work for their points but struggled through the first two sets losing 31-29 and 25-23. Galbraith said the team had problems with
unforced errors from inconsistent hitting and sloppy blocking. The team was called eight times for touching the net. Despite the problems, Galbraith said, the team pulled it together to win the third and fourth sets 25-21 and 25-15 to force a fifth. “I think the key turnaround was at the end of the second set when we finally figured out our blocking timing,” he said. Co-captain and one of Queen’s main blockers, Brianna Marshaldon, said the Brock hitters didn’t contact the ball at the top of their jumps, forcing Queen’s to adjust. “I needed to delay a lot more and it took a couple sets to work out.”

But Queen’s couldn’t hold on and Brock won the tiebreak 15-11 to take the match. Galbraith said that, while some of what impeded the Gaels two weeks ago at York seemed to have been resolved, they still have to work on their confidence. “I can’t fault the effort,” he said. “There was plenty of energy on the court but they looked nervous.” He said the women have also improved at working as a unit.

“The preseason is just about learning how to play as a team.” Marshaldon said the developing team
dynamic was a determining factor in the loss.

“Player for player we’re a better team but they played together better.” The Gaels will play their home
opener tonight against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees. They will also play their third match of the season at home on Saturday against the University of Toronto, but Galbraith said the team is focused solely on the Gee-Gees for the time being. “We’re very aware of what their personnel will do. They’re a very veteran team.” Ottawa is ranked first in the OUA and ninth in the CIS. Toronto is second in the OUA and 10th in the CIS. The Gaels will play tonight at 8 p.m. and aturday at 6 p.m. in Bartlett Gym.

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