You win one, you lose one

Extreme results leave Gaels in the middle

The Gaels beat Nipissing in straight sets at home, marking the first time the two programs have ever faced each other.
The Gaels beat Nipissing in straight sets at home, marking the first time the two programs have ever faced each other.
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A young Gaels squad provided tough competition in a loss to the province’s top team.

Women’s volleyball moved to 3-2 on the season, besting the Nipissing Lakers in straight sets, one day after losing to the OUA-leading York Lions.

The Gaels took the opening set from the Lions 25-22, before losing the next two sets 25-17 and 25-14.

“As a team we started out very well against York,” said head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane. “There were opportunities for sure as the match wore on.”

The women nearly forced a fifth and deciding set, pushing the fourth set deep into extra time. However, the team came up short, losing 29-27.

Christian-Macfarlane said the Gaels played as a team against York, as opposed to as individuals.

“Each person had a strong contribution towards our effort against York,” she said. “I wouldn’t really say one person did it all, I’d say it was a real team effort.”

Friday’s match against Queen’s was York’s toughest test so far this season, which bodes well for the remainder of the Gaels’ campaign.

On Saturday, the women faced the Lakers for the first time ever. The Gaels handled their business, beating the Lakers in three straight sets: 25-20, 25-8 and 25-21.

Middle hitter Shannon Neville led the team with 15 points against Nipissing, while outside hitter Kelsey Bishop added 14.

Against Nipissing, the team looked to close out sets and did just that, finishing off the match quickly.

“We had an opportunity to close out the York match, which we didn’t,” Christian-Macfarlane said. “Against Nipissing, it was important that we took care of business.”

After this weekend, the team has played over a quarter of their games and sit in a reasonably good position to make a playoff push later in the season.

The team will face the Lakehead Thunderwolves next weekend as they head out on the road to Thunder Bay.

With four games remaining in 2013, Christian-Macfarlane is optimistic that the team can make a push for the fourth-place spot.

The Gaels’ final matchup of the first half of the season will be a good indication of how much the team has progressed during the year. On Nov. 29, they’ll host the Ottawa Gee-Gees, who swept the Gaels in their season opener.

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