Early losing streak

Men’s volleyball loses twice, falls to 1-2

After a sour weekend in Southern Ontario, the men’s volleyball team is on an early-season losing streak.

The Gaels fell 3-1 to the Windsor Lancers on Friday, their first loss to Windsor since 2005. Head coach Brenda Willis said her team wasn’t expecting a challenge.

“They really beat us on the left and right sides. They scored at will,” Willis said. “We’re capable of not just matching that, but even more.”

The Western Mustangs blew out the Gaels 3-0 on Saturday, winning 25-17, 25-19 and 25-15. The Mustangs won the teams’ pre-season matchup in straight sets as well. Willis said her team’s confidence was still shaken from the loss to the Lancers.

“We didn’t have the rhythm we need,” she said, mentioning setting and passing problems in the loss.

The Mustangs are ranked eighth nationally, but Willis said they should be ranked higher based on Saturday’s performance.

The Gaels sit eighth in the OUA with a 1-2 record. Willis said other teams have better records than the Gaels because they haven’t faced Windsor and Western yet.

“They are two of the best teams in the league,” she said. “I expected going into the season that Windsor, Western and McMaster would be our toughest competition.”

Outside hitter Joren Zeeman and middle Mike Amoroso both played through leg injuries on the weekend. Willis said it’s not certain when they will be fully recovered, adding that Amoroso missed some practice for therapy this week.

Fifth-year outside hitter Bryan Fautley has returned to the weight room following a back injury that has kept him off the court since summer. Willis said she hopes he’ll be ready to play by January.

“Our hope is that he’ll actually start passing balls in live action around the end of [November],” she said, adding that without Fautley, the team’s only consistent scorer is Zeeman.

Willis scheduled two practices on Tuesday to help her team to move past last weekend’s losses.

The Gaels will face the third-place Guelph Gryphons on Friday and the seventh-place Waterloo Warriors on Saturday.

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