Women’s volleyball splits trip

Gaels sweep the Windsor Lancers, but fall hard to Western Mustangs

Queen’s middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie goes up for a hit against Western middle hitter Sara Farrell Saturday night. The Gaels lost 3-1 to the Mustangs, but beat the Windsor Lancers Friday.
Queen’s middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie goes up for a hit against Western middle hitter Sara Farrell Saturday night. The Gaels lost 3-1 to the Mustangs, but beat the Windsor Lancers Friday.
Credit: 
SUpplied Photo by Shaun Ding/Western Gazette

The women’s volleyball team was up and down the 401 last weekend, visiting the University of Windsor on Friday to sweep the 1-13 Lancers in three sets and then traveling to London to lose to the 14-2 University of Western Ontario Mustangs 3-1 Saturday.

Second-year middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie, who recorded 27 points on the weekend, said the extensive traveling took its toll on the team.

“We were definitely fatigued by Saturday night from all the traveling,” she said. “You can’t sleep well on a bus.” Ogilvie said academic pressures also made the weekend difficult.

“You’ve got to keep up with schoolwork if you’re at Queen’s,” she said. “It’s not like we go to York.”

She said the hostile crowd made Saturday’s loss tough for the Gaels.

“There’s a lot of chirping going on and it’s not all positive,” she said. “They tend to pick out people just from looking at the program. I don’t really have a lot of respect for it.”

Middle hitter Katie Matthews said the Gaels can usually ignore the crowds.

“We do a really good job of blocking out external disturbances,” she said.

The weekend exposed the Gaels to both ends of the OUA West standings, with Windsor in last place and Western in first. Matthews said the difficulty in playing lower-ranked teams is all mental.

“When you’re playing teams that you know are weaker than you, the danger is to play to their level,” she said. “In Windsor, we didn’t do that.”

There was no such danger against the Mustangs. The set progression of Saturday’s loss against the Mustangs was similar to their loss to the OUA East leaders the York Lions the week before. In both games the Gaels were up against a division-leading OUA team, and in both games the Gaels took the first set and fell in the following three.

Matthews said winning the first set against top teams can come as a bit of a shock.

“We come out so strong, sometimes I think we find ourselves surprised we won the first game,” she said. “Then we’re on our heels in the second game.” Matthews said the Gaels’ won’t be surprised next time.

“After York and Western we have definite confirmation that we can beat them.”

The weekend bumps the Gaels’ record to 9-8 and puts them in fourth place, two points behind the University of Toronto. With only two games left in the regular season, Matthews said the focus is on beating the Varsity Blues tonight and capturing the third spot to ensure the most advantageous match-up in the OUA quarter-finals.

“They play just the defence that our offence is most effective against so we’re focusing on the offence this week,” she said. “We’re in regardless, so now we’re just trying to secure the third-place spot so we can play Ottawa.”

The Gaels host the Varsity Blues at 6 p.m. tonight and the Ryerson Rams tomorrow.

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