Gaels finish 2009 on high

Pair of wins over the visiting Varsity Blues and Rams see the men’s volleyball team go into the break with a three-game win streak

Outside hitter Joren Zeeman spikes the ball during the Gaels’ straight-set win over the Varsity Blues on Friday night.
Outside hitter Joren Zeeman spikes the ball during the Gaels’ straight-set win over the Varsity Blues on Friday night.

The men’s volleyball team closed out Bartlett Gym’s volleyball-hosting life last weekend with a pair of wins over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams.

On Friday, the Gaels defeated the Blues in straight sets.

The Gaels took the first set, led by four kills each from third-year outside Joren Zeeman and third-year middle Michael Amoroso. Zeeman went on to lead the team with 14 kills.

Taking a 13-1 lead early in the second set, the Gaels foreshadowed the result of the match, as third-year outside Brian Fautley hit six of his 11 total kills for the game. Amoroso added six kills.

Third-year setter Dan Rosenbaum, returning from a preseason ankle injury, had 38 assists, handing Queen’s the third set and the sweep.

Following a spat of injuries, a problem that has plagued the team all season, head coach Brenda Willis switched up the starting lineup for the Saturday night match against Ryerson.

“We’ve been practising with Dan Rosenbaum as our starting setter, and he tweaked his knee [in the Toronto match],” she said. “When he tweaked his knee, I thought that was a sign that he shouldn’t play. So we went back to Jackson [Dakin, against Ryerson].” Fautley delivered another great performance on Saturday night, hitting a total of 18 kills en route to a four-set Gaels victory.

Willis said the team delivered a good performance despite of the numerous injuries they’re facing.

“Considering I haven’t had the starting line-up on the court all at once yet, because of injuries, I’m pretty happy.” She said recent additions to the team look promising.

“I’m pretty happy with Will Sidgwick ... he is a first year who has stepped in while [third-year outside] Niko [Rukivina] is injured, and is starting. [He] hasn’t been a liability at all”

This set of wins improves the Gaels’ record to 8-2 going into the holiday break.

Willis said the team will be using their break from league play constructively, playing a tournament in the Netherlands.

“Hopefully we’ll come back real competition ready and healthy, that’s the biggest thing.”

Zeeman, whose 13 kills helped deliver the Ryerson game to the Gaels, said team will grow closer and more competitive during the venture.

“We hope to gel as a team. It’s going to be a good experience for us. We’re going to play lots of different kinds of volleyball teams. The European style is very different in that there is lots of good ball control and the hitters aren’t as dynamic and high as they are in the OUA.”

The Gaels return to league play on Jan. 15 when they travel across the peninsula to visit the Royal Military College Paladins.

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