Volleyball inexperienced in the clutch

Women lose in straight sets to first-place Varsity Blues; record drops to 1-7

Despite losing in straight sets to the University of Toronto last Saturday, Chris Galbraith, head coach of the women’s volleyball team, said his team is making progress. He said he was pleased that
the Gaels didn’t let Toronto run away with the match from the beginning.

“This time I think it was better in that [Toronto] pulled away at the end.”

He said the team has been having trouble getting their intensity level up after long bus trips.
“We’ve been struggling with coming off the bus and playing really well.” To help the women get their
game legs, Galbraith said, the coaches decided to forgo some of their warm-up time and send the
team out for a walk. In the beginning the plan seemed to be working. The women were on fire, Galbraith said, and they found themselves up by two points at 16-14 in the first set.
But they couldn’t keep the momentum going and Toronto took the set 25-18. The Blues finished off the match with set scores of 25-18 and 25-14. Galbraith said the team will continue to work on consistency
and performing under pressure. “It’s just a matter of, when we get into the red zone, finding a way
to finish.” With the loss, the team’s record dropped to 1-7. The Gaels notched their first win of the season with a 3-1 defeat of the Ryerson Rams on Nov. 19. Galbraith said the win helped to take some of the pressure off the team going into Friday’s match, but he thinks the team’s inexperience in clutch situations meant they were unable to hold onto their lead.

“When you’re a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in a couple of years, you don’t really think you’re
going to win those games.” He said the team tightened up after they took the lead, and Toronto took advantage of their tentativeness. “We were playing like we had something to lose.”

Galbraith said he thinks the solution is just a matter of building confidence. “We have to believe in ourselves and not be surprised to be in that position.” Though the score was disappointing, Galbraith
said there were several standout performances. Julie Facey-Crowther delivered in her first start of the season, posting 24 assists and 14 digs. She was named Queen’s player of the game. Adrianna Robinson contributed a team-high 15 digs while Amanda Digel led the offence with nine kills.
Galbraith said rookie Louise Hamil continues to be a consistent force for the team. “She’s certainly been playing well beyond her status as a first-year.” The Gaels will play the last match of their fall campaign tomorrow at 6 p.m. in Bartlett Gym against the Royal Military College Paladins.

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