Women’s volleyball close out Bartlett in style

Pair of wins over the weekend over Varsity Blues and Rams sees the end of Gaels’ women’s volleyball in Bartlett Gym

Setter Kristin Collins lays up the ball for middle hitter Katie Matthews during the Gaels five-set victory over the Varsity Blues at Bartlett Gym
Setter Kristin Collins lays up the ball for middle hitter Katie Matthews during the Gaels five-set victory over the Varsity Blues at Bartlett Gym
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Second-year setter Julie Lockwood puts the ball up during Friday night’s game against Toronto.
Second-year setter Julie Lockwood puts the ball up during Friday night’s game against Toronto.
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Outside hitter Elyssa Heller spikes against the University of Toronto.
Outside hitter Elyssa Heller spikes against the University of Toronto.
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The women’s volleyball team improved their season record to 4-4 after winning both of their matchups this weekend against the Toronto Varsity Blues and the Ryerson Rams.

On Friday the Gaels hosted Toronto, winning in five sets.

After a strong first set, the Gaels struggled with a series of errors that put them on the losing end of a 25-12 decision in the second set.

Head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane said the team still needs to work on a few aspects of their game.

“Our passing is still pretty inconsistent,” she said. “Without our passing we can’t run the middle. We need to improve our serve-receive so that we stop making those errors.”

Queen’s came back in the third with a 25-19 victory, but lost the fourth set by the same margin. The Gaels fell to an early 5-1 deficit in the fifth set, but contributions from third-year middle Colleen Ogilvie and second-year outside Natalie Gray pushed the Gaels to a 15-11 victory.

Ogilvie and Gray led the Gaels with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.

Christian-Macfarlane said there were lessons to be taken from the victory.

“I learned that I need both of my setters,” she said, talking about setters Julie Lockwood and Kristin Collins. “Depending on the flow of the game, each one brings something different. To maximize our opportunities, we really need to have them to step on the court at different times and in different ways to play the match.”

On Saturday, the Gaels played their last-ever match in Bartlett Gym before the Dec. 1 move to the Queen’s Centre, beating the Rams in a four-set match.

A strong first set gave them the early advantage but the second was not as kind with the Gaels falling to an early deficit of 14-5. The Gaels clawed away at the Rams’ lead, but were only able to close it to two points, and dropped the set 25-23.

The third and fourth sets came easy to the Gaels, thanks largely to Ogilvie, who matched her performance from the previous night with 14 kills. Third-year middle Katie Matthews had a well-rounded game, adding eight kills, as well as five digs and four blocks. Third-year outside Lorna Button contributed nine kills and 14 digs.

Ogilvie said the team’s perseverance paid off.

“I think the big thing was that we were a lot more patient and we pushed a lot harder toward the end,” she said. “Something we have been working on a lot has been staying together toward the end and really being supportive of each other.”

Christian-Macfarlane said the weekend’s matches were different.

“They were very different games, and the intensity in yesterday’s match surrounded the type of team we played yesterday. [With] this team, [there was] not the same intensity.”

She added that the wins are appreciated, regardless of the circumstances.

“We’ve been struggling this season,” she said. “So to come out of this season with two wins ... against two very strong teams makes me very happy.”

“Now we’re off until January, and it’s a lot of training [until then],” she said.

The Gaels’ next league match is Jan. 9 against the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo.

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