Hot streak

Gaels beat Rams and Varsity Blues in straight sets

The men’s volleyball team extended its winning streak to 11 straight sets after a perfect weekend in Toronto. The Gaels beat the Ryerson Rams 3-0 on Saturday afternoon and defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues by the same score on Sunday.

The streak dates back to a 3-2 win over the York Lions on Jan. 15. It’s the first time the Gaels have won 11 straight sets since October 2009.

Saturday’s game against the Rams was closer than the score indicated — the Gaels only won 25-23, 27-25, 25-21. Outside hitter Joren Zeeman recorded 12 kills, while setter Jackson Dakin posted 30 assists.

The Gaels had an easier time against the Varsity Blues on Sunday, winning 25-18, 25-21, 25-10.

With the wins, the Gaels improve to 10-6, tied for third place in the OUA with the Windsor Lancers.

Head coach Brenda Willis said the reason for her team’s recent hot streak was improved serving and blocking, adding that Zeeman has been receiving better support from his teammates. But she said the Gaels still have to prove themselves against the top teams.

“One of the things you can do against weaker teams is rely on their blocks being defective,” she said. “Now we’re onto the contests of really good, high-level games, and we’re excited to play them at home.”

The Gaels host the first-place Western Mustangs and the third-place Lancers at the ARC this weekend to close out the regular season. They lost to both teams on the road before the winter break.

In past seasons, the Gaels have vied for the OUA title with the Mustangs and the McMaster Marauders. But this season, the Lancers and the Guelph Gryphons are keeping pace with Queen’s — the Lancers are 10-6 while the Gryphons are in fifth place at 9-7.

Willis said this is the most competitive OUA regular season in recent memory.

“The competition has been fierce in the top half of the draw … if you don’t play through to the very last point, you don’t win,” she said. “We’re in the same boat as Canada West now, with a fairly even top end.”

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