Women’s volleyball earns a sweep

Gaels defeat Laurier Golden Hawks and Waterloo Warriors, improve to 5-4 on the season

Queen’s outside hitter Natalie Grey goes for a kill against Laurier’s Megan Gilmore (13) and Brittany Brunt Saturday night at Bartlett Gym.
Queen’s outside hitter Natalie Grey goes for a kill against Laurier’s Megan Gilmore (13) and Brittany Brunt Saturday night at Bartlett Gym.
Chris NG

The women’s volleyball team took out the broom on Saturday against the 4-6 Laurier Golden Hawks and again on Sunday against the 6-3 Waterloo Warriors, beating both teams in three sets. Both games gave the crowds in Bartlett Gym something to cheer about with tough serving and blocking on both sides of the courts. The wins improved Queen’s record to 5-4, third in the OUA East. The Gaels have now won three straight games.

Head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane said she was impressed with her team’s consistency, something that was lacking during their season’s earlier losses.

“One of the things we’ve struggled with in the past is the ability to consistently play from start to finish,” she said. “What I was really impressed with this weekend is that we did that.”

Although the scores favoured the Gaels, all six sets were tight. Queen’s beat Laurier 25-20, 25-23 and 25-17 and then knocked off Waterloo 25-14, 25-23 and 25-20.

The back-to-back games left the Gaels with less than 24 hours after Saturday’s dinnertime game to prepare for the game on Sunday afternoon. Christian-Macfarlane said the focus shifted to Waterloo immediately after the win over Laurier.

“With Laurier, once it was over, it was over,” she said. “I told the girls, ‘You got five minutes to celebrate but you’ve got a job to do tomorrow.’ So we refocused and did game plan right away.”

The Gaels wavered from time to time in both matches, but Christian-Macfarlane said she refocused them during time outs by urging concentration on individual plays.

“I get them to focus on the one ball as opposed to getting to 25,” she said. “It’s about that one moment in time. Once that one moment is done the rest will take care of itself.”

Rookie outside hitter Natalie Gray, who posted 29 points on the weekend, said the coach’s timeouts helped the team concentrate on their defensive efforts.

“For a little while I think we stopped passing,” she said. “She tells us how to adjust to how the other team’s playing, to pick up the slack a little bit.”

The weekend’s wins weren’t the first for the Gaels against Laurier and Waterloo, as they beat both teams in the pre-season.

Lorna Button, who racked up 21 kills, 27 points and 22 digs on the weekend, said the team’s previous experience with the Golden Hawks helped them prepare.

“We knew this was a good team,” she said. “We beat them already in pre-season so we knew they’d be coming out hard.”

Button said the win over Laurier was special because of their talent.

“They’re a good team, and we beat them,” she said. “Winning against teams like RMC is good and everything, but this is a game we can be excited about winning.”

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