Women’s volleyball earns a win

The women’s volleyball team picked up their second win of the season Saturday at the Royal Military College, beating the RMC Paladins in straight sets. Queen’s dominated throughout the game, winning 25-6, 25-14 and 25-11. Second-year middle hitter Katie Matthews led the Gaels with 10 kills.

Head coach Joely Christian said she was particularly happy with the team’s lack of errors.

“I was happy that we didn’t let RMC score a lot of unearned points,” she said.

RMC hasn’t won a match in the five years they have spent in the OUA. Christian said it can be difficult to motivate players for games against the Paladins, but she tries to focus on getting them to improve their own play instead of thinking about the opposition.

“One of the things that I do is I try to get them to think more about not making mistakes that allow a team like RMC to score points,” she said. “If we minimize our errors, that’s something that transfers into bigger matches. It’s eliminating our errors and also learning to play on our side of the court and not worrying so much about what happens on their side.”

Christian said the Gaels played well Saturday, but there are still areas of their game that could be improved.

“Our passing can still get better, our consistency can still get better,” she said. “There’s still a lot of room that we can work with here.”

Christian said setter Kristin Collins, a transfer student from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota who recorded 27 assists Saturday, did well in her first game for the Gaels.

“She’s a transfer student, so it was a great opportunity to see her play and get her accustomed to our hitters,” Christian said. “There were, of course, nerves in her first match of the year, but she did a good job.”

The Gaels started this season with three straight losses but have since rebounded with consecutive wins over Ryerson and RMC. Christian said that’s partially due to improved play from her team and partially due to the quality of the opposition.

“It’s a combination of both,” she said. “RMC, that’s a reflection of perhaps RMC, but Ryerson’s a team that’s very talented. They have some senior players and they’ve been playing in the OUA for a while. Last year, we struggled to beat RMC with 4 and 5 [sets] both times, and this year we went three straight, and I think they were a stronger team this year, so I think it’s a reflection of our ability to take care of business when the time came.”

Christian said injuries are starting to hurt the Gaels and may affect this weekend’s matches against the York Lions and the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

“We’re actually struggling with a ton of injuries,” she said. “[Middle hitter] Christiane Taylor is done for the year. … We have a couple ankle injuries, so we’re going into the match not fully manned up, so to speak. We’re running with less than full middles, so for us it’s just a matter of playing the best volleyball we can play regardless of which six players I have to put out there.”

The Gaels take on the Lions tonight and the Thunderwolves tomorrow. Both games start at 6 p.m. at Bartlett Gym.

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