One win, one loss

Women split opening weekend

The women’s volleyball team split their first two games of the season last weekend.

They lost 3-1 on the road to the Ottawa Gee-Gees on Thursday, but beat the Royal Military College Paladins in straight sets in Friday’s home opener.

Gaels head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane said she was more impressed with her team’s performance in the loss to the Gee-Gees.

“We played very well in the first two sets [against the Gee-Gees],” she said. “I don’t really feel that we even came close to that [against the Paladins].”

With nine players from last year’s squad gone, Christian-Macfarlane said her team looks completely different this season and she’s excited with the progress so far.

“These rookies have brought excitement and energy to the court that we haven’t had in a couple years,” she said.

Christian-Macfarlane will lean on fourth-year outside hitters Natalie Gray and Becky Billings to help guide some of the younger players.

Gray’s a two-time OUA East first team all-star and a previous member of the OUA East all-rookie team.

After playing libero for the last three seasons, Billings recently converted to outside hitter. She led the team with 13 kills and 14 digs in Ottawa and added another 19 kills and eight digs against RMC.

Billings said she’s confident the rookies will improve quickly with more game play.

“We need to work on our defence,” she said. “We’re a little undisciplined right now, but that just takes a little bit of time.”

The Gaels will travel to play the 0-3 Windsor Lancers and the 1-1 Western Mustangs next weekend.

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