Women’s teams exit early

Basketball and volleyball fall in quarter-finals to Ravens, Varsity Blues

Teddi Firmi guards Carleton’s Tanya Perry in a Jan. 25 game.
Teddi Firmi guards Carleton’s Tanya Perry in a Jan. 25 game.
Journal File Photo

The women’s basketball and volleyball teams both saw their playoff runs end early, losing in the quarter-finals.

The volleyball team lost on the road Feb. 15 against the top-seeded University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Despite their higher seed and home-court advantage, the women’s basketball team fell 67-58 to the Carleton Ravens Feb. 16 at Bartlett Gym.

After the game, Carleton head coach Taffe Charles said he was confident the Ravens could win going into the match.

“Absolutely,” he said. “In the last month and a half, we’ve played really, really well.” Carleton came out flying and quickly piled up a 12-4 lead, which they expanded to 24-15 by the end of the the first quarter. Queen’s fought back after that and outscored the Ravens 17-13 in the third, but eventually lost by nine.

An unexpected star aided the Raven’s win. The Gaels held Carleton’s leading scorer Kelly Lyons to just six points, but Ravens guard Tanya Perry came through with a game-high 28 points to lead the Ravens to victory.

Charles said he had hoped for a strong performance from Perry.

“She’s an OUA All-Star, so I expected her to lead this team,” he said. “She’s been here when we haven’t won, and I told her, ‘Learn from your mistakes, and let’s get a win here.’”

The Ravens’ strong first-half shooting was key to their eventual victory—they hit 56 per cent of their field goal attempts, 55 per cent of their three-point attempts and 83 per cent of their free throws in the first two quarters.

By comparison, Queen’s made 39 per cent of their first-half field goals, 25 per cent of their first-half three pointers, and 78 per cent of their first-half free throws.

Queen’s head coach Dave Wilson said the Gaels couldn’t match the Ravens’ outstanding shooting early in the game.

“I’ve got to give credit to Carleton, quite frankly,” he said. “They shot the ball extremely well, especially in the first half. … We just had a hard time recovering from that, and you’ve got to give credit to Tanya Perry—that’s one hell of a ball game.”

Wilson said the Gaels came close, but couldn’t finish the job.

“We kept getting [the lead down] to five,” he said. “We got it to five a number of times, but then we’d make a critical error on defence to give a little bit of momentum back to Carleton, and I thought they did a great job of capitalizing on that. When we made a mistake, they made us pay for it.”

Guard Brittany Moore led the Gaels with 24 points, including five three-pointers.

“We missed a couple things on defence, but I think overall we played really hard,” she said. “We put a lot of effort into it, and I think the graduating players really showed a lot of leadership and played really well. … It’s just a really tough loss.”

The Gaels earned some individual accolades: point guard Teddi Firmi was named the OUA East Defensive Player of the Year, while Moore won the OUA East Rookie of the Year award and was named to the OUA East All-Rookie team along with Alaina Porter.

Fifth-year forward Sarah Barnes was also named to the OUA East second All-Star team.

The volleyball team’s loss was perhaps a more expected result. Their young lineup was up against the 17-2 Varsity Blues in the first round, and their playoff run ended in three sets as experience trumped youth. What was unexpected, however, was how close it turned out to be. The team forced the crucial third set to go beyond the usual 25 points, but eventually lost 27-25.

The performances from the Gaels’ young core of talent showed they have plenty of potential for the future. Second-year middle hitter Christiane Taylor and rookie middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie led Queen’s offensively against Toronto with seven and six kills, respectively. Outside hitter Elyssa Heller was named OUA East Rookie of the Year and made the CIS All-Rookie Team, while Taylor was named to the OUA East second All-Star team.

The exit concluded a transition year for the team, as they adjusted to both new head coach Joely Christian and several rookies playing key roles. Eleven of the 15 players on their roster were in their first or second year of eligibility, meaning the Gaels’ core should be intact for the next few years.

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