Full house at Queen’s

The ARC will be busy with six Gaels teams playing at home this weekend

Gaels fans will have a lot to cheer about this weekend with all six teams at home to close out their regular seasons. The ARC will be taken over on this Super Saturday with women’s and men’s volleyball playing at noon and 2 p.m. and women’s and men’s basketball taking the night shift with games at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

With the playoffs looming, many Gaels teams have made strong pushes to ensure a place in the postseason but none more so than the women’s hockey team. After an average start to the season, the Gaels have exploded out of the Christmas break going 8-2.

“All three lines are clicking,” forward Becky Conroy said. “It’s gut check time now. We had to get a playoff spot. Everyone was working hard for that.”

Since their last loss on Jan. 22 against the Windsor Lancers, the Gaels have outscored their opponents 20-4. Conroy said the important factor in their winning streak is that every player has been contributing.

“It makes it difficult for other teams to match one line and shut us down,” she said. “Now they have a rookie [Alex Cieslowski] scoring a hat-trick, there’s not much they can do about that.”

Along with the Gaels’ impressive offensive power, their goaltending tandem of Mel Dodd-Moher and Karissa Savage sit fifth and sixth respectively in goals against average in the OUA. The Queen’s goaltenders are behind the Laurier, Brock and Guelph goaltenders, nationally ranked teams.

“We’re in fourth place right now but I would say we’re probably the scariest team in the league,” Conroy said. “Since Christmas, we’ve been killing a couple teams and last weekend was huge. If we can get two more big wins this weekend, we’d go into the playoffs with lots of confidence. "

The women’s basketball team has endured a difficult season. A young squad and four season ending injuries have been factor in their 4-14 season.

“We’ll look back on it as a learning season; learning to adjust to all kinds of situations,” post Jill Wheat said. “Adjusting to losing players, to injuries, adjusting to only having four veteran players on the floor. For most of the team, it’ll be a good setup for the postseason and next year.”

The Gaels broke a seven-game losing streak last weekend, beating the Ryerson Rams 62-61, which Wheat said contributes to momentum going into this weekend’s matchup against the York Lions and the Toronto Varsity Blues.

The Gaels beat the Lions 71-62 earlier this season at York.

“We have confidence facing York,” she said. “We match up well against them. We have size advantage. They have a couple quick guards but we have as well. We’re really confident and ... determined to win this weekend.”

Another dominant season by the men’s volleyball team is challenged by tough competition this weekend with the McMaster Marauders and the Guelph Gryphons travelling to Kingston.

The Gaels had tight battles with the teams before the break, defeating the Gryphons but falling to the Marauders in five sets. Middle Michael Amoroso said the team is confident going into the weekend.

“We’re ready,” he said. “Every time we play, we can battle [and] ... it’s really close. There might be some nerves among the younger players but for the older guys, we’ve seen these guys before so I think we’re ready.”

With their regular seasons wrapping up, all teams will be looking for Queen’s students to come out and support the Gaels.

“It’s always good to have fans,” Amoroso said. “The fans that come out to our games are always really excited. They always add to the atmosphere. It also adds to the effect of home-court advantage because you actually feel like you have the advantage at home. You have the whole crowd behind you.”

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