Volleyball falls in Waterloo

Men lose to the Warriors in five sets on Friday, but recover to beat Golden Hawks in straight sets Saturday

The euphoria of last week’s victory over the previously unbeaten McMaster Marauders wore off quickly for the men’s volleyball team, as they fell to the 6-6 University of Waterloo Warriors in five sets Friday night. The Gaels rebounded with a straight-sets win over the 7-6 Laurier Golden Hawks Saturday to improve their record to 11-3.

Friday’s loss meant Queen’s missed an opportunity to tie McMaster for first place in the OUA when the 12-2 Marauders lost in straight sets to the Western Mustangs Sunday.

Setter Dan Rosenbaum said the missed chance and the loss both weighed on the Gaels’ minds.

“It kind of hurts, especially given what else happened around the league,” he said.

Rosenbaum said McMaster’s fall bodes well for the Gaels come playoff time, though.

“It proved that Mac is beatable,” he said. “It showed that on any day anyone can win.”

Western is only two points behind Queen’s in the standings, meaning the fight for second place may come down to the Gaels-Mustangs clash on Jan. 31 in London. Queen’s lost to Western in five sets at home on Oct. 25.

Rosenbaum said this weekend’s loss to Waterloo makes the playoff race tougher for Queen’s.

“We have to beat Western to finish second in the league,” he said. “At least we control our own destiny.” Friday night started auspiciously for the Gaels when they won the first set 25-13. The second set turned into a marathon, but Queen’s pulled out a 32-30 victory. Rosenbaum said the team underestimated the Warriors after the first two sets.

“Going into the third, we may have held them a bit too lightly,” he said. “We were up two and kind of fell apart.”

The Warriors came back and took the next two sets 25-23, 25-23. Queen’s put up a fight in the fifth set, but Waterloo prevailed 15-12. Rosenbaum said the loss demonstrated the Gaels can’t overlook any opponent.

“We have to bring our A-game every day,” he said.

Queen’s bounced back with a three-set win over Laurier Sunday. Rosenbaum said the team focused on increasing their intensity and improving their on-court communication.

“We tried to be a bit more vocal,” he said.

Rosenbaum said there’s still room for improvement, though.

“Our serving game wasn’t great against Laurier,” he said. “Against some of the stronger teams, that could cause problems.”

Queen’s returns to action Wednesday night against the winless Royal Military College Paladins. Rosenbaum said that match should be an excellent opportunity for the Gaels’ rookies to gain experience.

The Gaels face the Paladins at 8 p.m. Wednesday in Bartlett Gym.

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