Gaels’ depth on display

Women’s volleyball gets a three-set win over RMC to take sole possession of third place in OUA East Division

RMC’s Rebecca Fielding goes for a kill Wednesday against Queen’s Becky Billings (10) and Leah Franco (16). The Gaels beat the Paladins in straight sets.
RMC’s Rebecca Fielding goes for a kill Wednesday against Queen’s Becky Billings (10) and Leah Franco (16). The Gaels beat the Paladins in straight sets.
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Photo By Chris Bermingham

The women’s volleyball team had no trouble dispatching the 0-14 Royal Military College Paladins in under an hour and a half on Wednesday night in Bartlett Gym, winning 25-10, 25-7 and 25-12. This marks the second straight three-set victory for the Tricolour on the heels of their straight-set triumph over the 2-13 Lakehead Thunderwolves on Sunday.

“The nicest part about the game was getting all our players in,” head coach Joely Christian said. “They all executed the game plan no matter who was on the court.”

The Paladins seemed unable to handle any combination of Gaels, as all but two of the 14 players on the Gaels’ roster recorded at least one point and RMC was held to a single block in the entire match. No Paladin managed to record more than one kill.

Christian said finding motivation against lesser teams is a problem for every team, but it’s an issue of keeping focus.

“It gets any team,” she said. “But we worry about our half of the court, not what’s happening on the other side.”

Many of the Gaels put up strong numbers against the Paladins. Outside hitter Elyssa Heller recorded eight kills, six digs and a game-high nine points. Meanwhile, setter Julie Lockwood provided 22 assists and five digs in the winning effort and libero Sarah Fetterly added six digs. Outside hitter Lorna Button and middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie recorded six kills each.

Natalie Gray, the Gaels’ regular-season scoring leader, managed four service aces and seven points in the effort. On top of that, she went on a 12-serve run in the first set, as if to foreshadow the rest of the game for the Paladins.

Gray said the game wasn’t so much a contest for Queen’s as a way to prepare to face the top-ranked 13-0 York Lions on the road Friday.

“It was to get us ready,” she said. “We were practising a lot of the shots we were going to use and the systems that we were going to use, so we’ll be ready.”

As for problems of motivation, Gray said playing lesser teams is helpful for the Gaels’ preparations to face stronger teams down the road.

“It’s hard to keep playing at a high level when the other team is weaker, but it helps us keep out mental focus for bigger games against York and U of T.”

The Gaels face York at 6 p.m. Friday night in Toronto.

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