Second-place showdown

Women’s volleyball gets another crack at the Ottawa

the Gals haven't beaten the ttawa Gee-Gees since November 2010. They fight for second place in the OUA at the ARC tonight.
the Gals haven't beaten the ttawa Gee-Gees since November 2010. They fight for second place in the OUA at the ARC tonight.
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The women’s volleyball team ended last season with a loss against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. They started this season the same way.

But tonight at the ARC, the Gaels have a chance to extract some revenge on the team that ended their playoff hopes last season. A win at the ARC would see the Gaels overtake the Gee-Gees for second place in the OUA.

The Gaels are coming off two straight-set victories over the Lakehead Thunderwolves and are 5-1 at home this year. But the Gee-Gees — winners of four of their last five — have beaten Queen’s in three straight matches.

The Gaels and Gee-Gees are currently tied with 20 points each but Ottawa’s winning record against Queen’s gives them the advantage in the event of a tie. “We have this unspoken rivalry with Ottawa,” head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane said. “It’ll be nice to get them on our court to play them.”

Christian-Macfarlane said her team hasn’t forgotten about the four-set loss in their last meeting with Gee-Gees in October.

“Our goal is to play them better this time than we did last time,” she said. “We were overwhelmed by them.”

Christian-Macfarlane said tonight’s game will be dictated by her team’s play at the net against a hard-hitting Ottawa team.

“[Against Lakehead], for the first time ever we had more than five blocks in a match,” she said. “If we can stop [Ottawa] at the net and be aggressive above the net, it makes playing defence a lot easier.”

Christian-Macfarlane needs another strong performance from second-year outside hitter Katie Hagarty, who posted a cumulative 25 kills, nine digs and six service aces last weekend.

Hagarty said the Gaels have grown since the early-season loss to the Gee-Gees.

“That really doesn’t mean that much to us right now,” she said. “We’ve come a long way since then.”

With only three regular-season games remaining, the Gaels need good results to clinch home court advantage for OUA quarter-final and semifinal games.

“Our team definitely plays better at home so it would help if we were here for the playoffs,” Hagarty said. “But as long as we’re playing well we’re not really that concerned with our seed.”

The Gaels and the Gee-Gees will take the court tonight at 7p.m. at the ARC.

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