Volleyball braces for Mustangs

team plays full roster in straight-set win over RMc, lose to ottawa

Lousie Hamill (15) goes in for the kill in Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. The Gaels lost in straight sets.
Lousie Hamill (15) goes in for the kill in Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. The Gaels lost in straight sets.
Supplied photo by Jeff Chan

The women’s volleyball team accomplished a straightforward win in a roundabout way, using every player dressed in a three-set victory over the Royal Military College Paladins last Friday. But they couldn’t carry the momentum into Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, losing in straight sets.

“[Friday’s game] was a good example of everyone doing their job,” head coach Chris Galbraith said.
“I thought after the first set we’d handled them pretty well, and it was a good opportunity for people to see the floor who don’t normally.”

It was also a chance for the starters to rest up in preparation for the next day’s match in Ottawa. The Ottawa Gee-Gees are sitting in third place in the OUA East, 12 points ahead of the Gaels.

“It didn’t go as I was hoping it would go,” Galbraith said. “When we got there, they were in some sense, a different team.” Always a strong team, the Gee-Gees had just come off a tight loss to the York Lions. He said they seemed to come out with a renewed drive. Galbraith said Queen’s played
them tough until the score was 17-17 in the first set before Ottawa pulled away. The Gee-Gees won the set 25-18. “I think the setter took over the game,” he said. “She dumped the ball 12 times and scored on eight and got in our heads.” He said the only way to deal with a player like that is to do your homework. “I guess it’s just a matter of knowing what’s coming,” he said. “You also have to just say she’s going to score points and deal with it.” The key, he said, is to remember that each play, no matter how flashy or impressive, is still only worth one point.

Galbraith said that, in tomorrow’s match against Western, the focus will be on defusing the Mustangs’ offence. Ranked 10th in the country, the Mustangs are leading the OUA West and riding high after
defeating OUA East leaders, the sixth-ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues. The Gaels will take on the Windsor Lancers on Sunday. The game will be the beginningof what Galbraith said is, on
paper at least, the easiest part of their schedule. “Windsor is definitely a match which, if we play well, we can win.” For the first time in three years, the Gaels are in a position to make the playoffs, currently occupying the fourth and final spot. Galbraith said the team is looking to expand their lead before the regular season is over.

“It’s there for us if we stay motivated and focused and determined.”

He said the coaches will do what they can to keep morale high, but the players will have to take most of the responsibility. “I think, to some extent, that’s something the players have to take care of themselves.” He added that he doesn’t think past seasons’ results have any effect on the players’ mindsets. “They just have to have the expectation that this is what we do here.”

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