Women’s volleyball perfect at home

Gaels take down Mustangs and Lancers to remain unbeaten at home with one game left

Outside hitter Elyssa Heller (2) spikes the ball during Friday’s straight-sets win over the Western Mustangs at the Main Gym at the ARC. The Gaels are unbeaten at home this year.
Outside hitter Elyssa Heller (2) spikes the ball during Friday’s straight-sets win over the Western Mustangs at the Main Gym at the ARC. The Gaels are unbeaten at home this year.

The women’s volleyball team had a strong weekend at the ARC, vaulting themselves into second place in the OUA East standings with one game left in the season. The Gaels beat the Western Mustangs on Friday before downing the Windsor Lancers on Saturday. Both matches were decided in straight sets.

Middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie and outside hitter Natalie Gray both put on impressive displays, amassing 30 and 29 points respectively over the weekend. Libero Becky Billings led the team in digs over the two games with 23.

Despite the two wins, head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane said she wasn’t pleased with her team’s consistency over the two games against Western, who currently sit second in the OUA West, and Windsor, who have only one win this season.

“The mental preparation going in to the game against Western was clearly different for the athletes,” Christian-Macfarlane said. “It’s been something we’ve been battling all year; you have to have the same preparation regardless who the opponent is.”

Christian-Macfarlane felt that the Gaels didn’t play up to their potential against the Lancers. While far superior on paper, the Gaels only won by scores of 25-23, 25-20 and 25-23.

“There were a lot of inconsistencies in the match against Windsor that I felt shouldn’t be happening this late in the season,” Christian-Macfarlane said. “I think what happens when you play a team that is younger is that you take for granted their strengths. They did some good things against us and almost beat us.”

Christian-Macfarlane said the team would focus on bringing that intensity into practice, especially with the playoffs on the horizon.

“At the end of the day it’s about our side of the court. Every team’s going to throw whatever they throw at you,” she said. “We provide a game plan and after that it’s about us taking care of business. If we can minimize our errors going into those big matches it will make a big difference for us.”

Ogilvie echoed Christian-Macfarlane’s sentiments, adding that the team was learning how to play with a lead and not letting up.

“It was nice to win but I think after a big start we’re still working on pushing ahead and not letting them back in and making it a tight game,” Ogilvie said.

Ogilvie said the team would look to improve their offence as the season wraps up.

“We have the playoffs in two weeks, so we’ll be looking at speeding up our offense a bit and then just fine tuning the other parts of our game,” she said.

Before the Gaels look ahead to the playoffs, they still have one game remaining this week against the Royal Military College Paladins. The Paladins sit last in the OUA East standings and have yet to win a match this season. The game was originally slated to be played on Nov. 13, but was rescheduled due to H1N1 concerns.

“I think, hopefully, that the game will be a good momentum builder,” Ogilvie said. “That could have been said about Windsor as well, but hopefully against RMC we can practice having that strong mindset.”

Queen’s will host RMC at the ARC on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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