Split on the road

Gaels fall to McMaster, but squeeze by York

Aaron Nusbaum and the men's volleyball team lost to McMaster and narrowly beat York on the road this weekend.
Aaron Nusbaum and the men's volleyball team lost to McMaster and narrowly beat York on the road this weekend.

The men’s volleyball team struggled with a difficult road trip this weekend, falling to the McMaster Marauders 3-2 on Saturday before narrowly defeating the York Lions in five sets on Sunday afternoon. The win and the loss leaves the Gaels at 7-6 and tied for fifth in the OUA.

Friday’s game in Hamilton didn’t end until after 10 p.m., but the Gaels still had to travel to Toronto to play the following afternoon. Head coach Brenda Willis said her team was fatigued after the previous night’s game in Hamilton and the performance wasn’t good enough.

“We need to improve our discipline blocking, our hands are getting used by our opponents to score,” she said. “On the offensive side we need a good rhythm — consistency between the hitter and the setter.”

Friday’s loss in Hamilton was the second time this season that the Gaels blew a lead and lost in five sets to the Marauders. On Nov. 19, the Gaels won the first two sets before conceding three straight — Queen’s led 2-1 on Friday, but lost a tight fourth set 26-24 and dropped the fifth-set tiebreaker 15-10.

Outside hitter Kevin Stevens led the Marauders with 11 kills, three blocks and nine digs, while Gaels outside hitter Joren Zeeman countered with 15 kills and two blocks.

Less than 24 hours later, the Gaels took five sets to beat the York Lions. The Gaels had swept the Lions 3-0 in Kingston on Dec. 3, but they trailed 1-2 before winning the last two sets in Toronto on Sunday.

Outside hitter Will Sidgwick had 10 kills and nine digs while Zeeman had a team-high 14 kills. However, Zeeman finished with seven errors in each game this weekend.

Lions coach Wally Dyba said the Gaels won because Willis used her bench strategically throughout the game.

“[Willis] did a good job at taking the starters out in the third set, and put them back in for the fourth,” he said. “They dominated after that.”

On Friday, the Gaels travel across town to play the last-place Royal Military College Paladins at 7 p.m.

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