Double loss for men’s volleyball

McMaster Marauders and Laval Rouge et Or beat Gaels over Thanksgiving weekend

Queen’s campus was nearly deserted during the Thanksgiving holiday, but Bartlett Gym was alive with action as the men’s volleyball team hosted the McMaster Marauders and the Laval Rouge et Or.

On Friday night, the Gaels played the Marauders, ultimately losing a five-set thriller.

The Gaels suffered the loss of third-year setter Dan Rosenbaum in the second, whose ankle injury has yet to be assessed, and may have to sit out upcoming games.

“It took the wind out of our sails a bit when Dan Rosenbaum went down,” head coach Brenda Willis said. “I think it took about a set and a half to get used to the change in setter.”

Willis inserted second-year setter Jackson Dakin to replace Rosenbaum.                 “The guys hung in there with Jackson and I think they found it again,” she said. “That’s what forced a fifth set.”

Despite the loss, Willis said she was pleased with many aspects of her team’s performance.

“Communication and energy was good. Servicing was good,” she said. “I thought that we were really starting to play well as a unit.”

She had particular praise for third-year outside Bryan Fautley, whose 19 kills and 12 digs led his team in both categories.

“I’m really proud of Bryan,” she said. “He had a phenomenal offensive game and he passed very respectably, so that’s wonderful for his confidence and establishing himself in the line-up.”

Willis said her team lost its edge in the fifth set.

“We have to attack the fifth set with a lot of confidence,” she said. “And I don’t think we did that. We need people to be aggressive.”

On Sunday afternoon, the Gaels lost to last year’s CIS silver medalists, the Laval Rouge et Or, in straight sets.

Third-year middle Michael Amoroso said the new team dynamic would take some time to get used to.

“The connection between attackers and your setter is almost sacred,” he said. “It’s something that takes a long time to develop. Jackson is a very good setter, but we don’t quite have the same connection with him.”

Willis said she’s thankful for the time she has to develop her team.

“I think everybody recognizes that it’s pretty early,” she said. “We’re still playing in late February.”

Next up for the Gaels is a trip to Guelph next weekend to face the Gryphons and the Waterloo Warriors in their final pre-season matchups.

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