Men’s volleyball knocks off Lions

The men’s volleyball team made mincemeat of the York Lions Friday with a 25-20, 25-20, 28-26 victory. Fifth-year outside hitter Jeff DeMeza led the Gaels with 16 kills, and rookie outside hitter Matt Taylor added eight more.

Fifth-year outside hitter Luke Lichty, who had three kills and 12 digs in limited playing time, said he was impressed that the Gaels won in straight sets.

“I don’t think we’ve been able to do that yet in the OUA this year,” he said.

Lichty said the team had to be careful not to underestimate the 2-5 Lions.

“York, they’ve got good volleyball players and they’re going to make good plays,” he said. “They did there at the end to keep it close. I’m really proud of the team and how we responded.”

He said the team’s rookies made a strong showing.

“They were great,” he said. “They came in off the bench, knew what they had to do, knew the game plan and really made an impact when they were out on the floor.”

Lichty said the team can’t get complacent with how they’ve played so far, though. The Gaels are 5-2 on the season and second in the OUA.

“We don’t want to get comfortable,” he said. “We need to keep practicing hard every night and keep going out to games wanting to win every single point.”

Head coach Brenda Willis said she was pleased to make use of the team’s depth.

“We did what we set out to do,” she said. “I got almost all of the rookies on the floor for at least one game and some of them did pretty well.”

She was especially impressed with Taylor’s play.

“That’s his first full match and I thought he did a good job. He maintained pretty good composure. They served him a lot and I thought he responded pretty well.”

Willis said the concern for her was Queen’s playing down to York’s level.

“They’re a really young team, even younger than ours, and we knew that if we passed well and put up our block, we would be able to handle them,” she said. “The goal was to win three straight because we have a tendency to let the opponents set the tone.”

Willis said she wasn’t concerned York challenged the Gaels in the third set, having started it with a rookie-heavy lineup. She said the set turned around when she put second-year middle hitter Michael Amoroso in late in the game.

“When it got tough, I put Amoroso in and that took care of that,” she said. “They can’t handle Amo.”

The Gaels host the Laurier Golden Hawks tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Bartlett Gym and face the Waterloo Warriors Sunday at 4 p.m.

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