Landmark in London

Women’s volleyball beats defending OUA champions on the road

The Gaels beat Western on Friday.
The Gaels beat Western on Friday.

Head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane couldn’t remember the last time women’s volleyball won at the University of Western Ontario.

But the Gaels beat the the defending OUA champion Western Mustangs 27-25, 25-27, 25-17, 25-21 in London on Saturday to cap off a perfect weekend.

They swept the Windsor Lancers 25-20, 25-12, 25-21 on Friday.

Outside hitter Becky Billings continued her early-season hot streak, leading the team with 8 kills and 13 digs against the Lancers and 23 kills and 30 digs against the Mustangs. Billings and fellow outside hitter Natalie Gray lead the OUA with 6.73 and 4.64 points per game respectively.

“It was really nice to beat the defending OUA champs in their own gym,” Billings said. “[It’s] a huge success for us and our program.”

The Gaels have 12 rookies on a 19-person roster. But they sit at fourth-place in the province.

“We’re earning respect against other teams that I don’t think thought we could play,” Billings said.

The team needs to focus on continuing its strong start to the season, Christian-Macfarlane said.

“We’ve had a history of where we start off super strong and then kind of falter in the past,” she said. “This year is really about maintaining consistency across every match so that we don’t have those big pitfalls in the second half of the season.”

Last weekend’s road trip marked the start of a tough stretch of four away games. They’ll travel to Guelph and Brock this weekend on another long road trip. Christian-Macfarlane said it’s difficult to establish a rhythm with so much travel.

“You just try to keep the schedule pretty controlled so that there aren’t a lot of distractions on the road,” Christian-Macfarlane said.

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