Paladins dispatched in three

Men’s volleyball takes a straight-set victory over winless Royal Military College at Bartlett Gym

Gaels Darren Edwards (7) and Alex Oneid (6) attempt a block against the Paladins’ Kevin Caverly Wednesday. Queen’s won 3-0.
Gaels Darren Edwards (7) and Alex Oneid (6) attempt a block against the Paladins’ Kevin Caverly Wednesday. Queen’s won 3-0.
Credit: 
Photo by Chris Bermingham
RMC middle hitter Paul Demers tries to get a hit past Queen’s blockers Matthew Taylor (left) and Darren Edwards.
RMC middle hitter Paul Demers tries to get a hit past Queen’s blockers Matthew Taylor (left) and Darren Edwards.
Credit: 
Photo by Chris Bermingham
Gaels Darren Edwards (7) and Jeff DeMeza (2) try for a block against RMC Wednesday.
Gaels Darren Edwards (7) and Jeff DeMeza (2) try for a block against RMC Wednesday.
Credit: 
Photo by Chris Bermingham

The men’s volleyball team handed the reins over to the rookies on Wednesday evening and came away with a decisive straight-set victory over the Royal Military College Paladins. The Gaels won the three sets 25-14, 25-13 and 25-12 respectively and improved their record to 12-3, raising them to a tie for first place in the OUA with the McMaster Marauders.

Head coach Brenda Willis decided to play five rookies against the winless Paladins to give them a chance to gain some quality court time. She used a starting lineup of five first-year players and veteran hitter Jeff DeMeza, and said she was impressed with her rookies’ play.

“They did what they needed to do and kept our errors down,” she said.

Willis said she was not surprised with the level of play of the first year players and liked their transition game on the court.

“In particular I liked the way we played in the middle. [Setter] Jackson Dakin did a great job of setting the ball up,” she said. “All five of them have played at the provincial level. They’re the best at their age group. I knew they were capable of winning.” The ability to inject the team with youth provides healthy competition to the team for increased court time.

“The best thing is that it validates that the entire roster is deep,” Willis said. “It keeps all the guys competing because I know that if one of them isn’t performing, there are people to step up.” Willis said that there are always areas of the game the team can improve in to better themselves moving forward.

“I wasn’t particularly happy with our serving. The players are capable of doing better jobs from the serving line,” she said. “Also, we’ve been focused on reading our blocks and communicating with each other and we’ll keep working on it moving forward.” Bryan Fautley led Queen’s with 12 kills and Jeff DeMeza tallied five service aces. Jackson Dakin put up 29 assists.

Fautley emphasized that a strong mental approach was instrumental in picking up a victory against the now 0-15 Paladins.

“We approached them as any other team,” Fautley said. “Brenda’s really good at keeping our heads on the ground. She said before the game that if we treated them as an 0-14 team, we would not fare well.” The Gaels now turn their attention to the 2-12 York Lions, whom they visit on Friday evening.

“York is a bit of a stronger team,” Fautley said. “We need to be more aggressive and consistent from behind the line, putting the ball in at specific times when necessary. If we can increase our aces and decrease our errors it’ll be much better.”

Queen’s will continue their season away from home this weekend, visiting the 5-9 Windsor Lancers and 10-4 Western Mustangs.

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