Volleyball in brief

Men’s and women’s volleyball kick off their seasons

Men’s volleyball squeezes out opening win

Queen’s came out on top in a back-and-forth season opener on Friday.

Facing the Guelph Gryphons (2-2) on the road in their first taste of OUA action this year, the Gaels (1-0) cruised to a decisive fifth-set victory after splitting the first four frames.

The 15-7 score line in the final set wasn’t indicative of the rest of the contest. Queen’s pulled out three- and two-point wins in the second and third sets, bookended by narrow margins that favoured the Gryphons.

The Gaels converted 81.8 per cent of their kill attempts in the final set, rallying ahead to open the season on a positive note.

With 2012-13 leading scorer Mike Tomlinson out of the lineup, fourth-year outside hitter Phillippe Goyer paced the Gaels’ attack with 19 kills.

Queen’s new setting duo showcased their set-up prowess, with third-year starter Matt Bonshor registering a game-high 36 assists.

Rookie backup Thomas Ellison contributed 12 helpers in his first regular season game. The setting tandem is striving to replace the graduated Jackson Dakin, a central cog of the Gaels’ 2011-12 OUA championship team.

Next Sunday will mark Queen’s home opener, with the RMC Paladins (0-1) traveling to the ARC for a 3 p.m. tilt.

Women’s volleyball snags predictable split

Facing the class and dregs of the OUA, Queen’s lost and won in two road contents.

The Gaels were swept in last Friday’s season opener by the nationally 10th-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees, last year’s OUA champions.

Queen’s (1-1) hasn’t taken a set against Ottawa (2-0) since beating them in the 2011-12 league final, falling 3-0 each of the last two regular seasons.

The Gaels bounced back on Sunday against the Brock Badgers (1-2), losing two leads but winning convincingly in the fifth set to secure a 3-2 victory.

Brock finished 5-13 in 2012-13, seven games back of the Gaels.

Queen’s first seven sets of the season were decided by five points or fewer, with Ottawa tiptoeing ahead to win 25-20, 25-20, 25-23.

The Gee-Gees stifled Queen’s attack, holding the Gaels to just 22 kills on the day.

Outside hitter Kelsey Bishop led Queen’s in scoring in both games, but her productivity reflected her team’s fortune. Limited to four kills against Ottawa, she burst out for 18 against the relatively porous Badgers, leading the squad to a pivotal road win.

Next up are the winless RMC Paladins (0-1), who’ll face the Gaels next Sunday at 1 p.m. in Queen’s home opener.

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