Strong at the finish

A pair of five-set thrillers brings women’s volleyball’s year to an end

Playing her final two games with the Gaels, outside hitter Kelsey Bishop recorded 43 points over the weekend.
Playing her final two games with the Gaels, outside hitter Kelsey Bishop recorded 43 points over the weekend.
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The women’s volleyball team went out on a high note on Sunday to close off their season.

After failing to make the post-season for the first time in the past seven years, the Gaels (10-9) topped the Toronto Varsity Blues (15-4), the best team in the OUA.

In their last weekend of competition, the Gaels faced the Ryerson Rams (14-5) and the Varsity Blues, who both came to town looking to build momentum going into the playoffs.

“Against Toronto, we played the best we’ve played in a long time,” said Gaels head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane. “It shows that we are capable of performing with the best and beating them, and next year we need to do it all season long instead of at the end.”

After the weekend’s results, Toronto sits in first in the OUA with 30 points, followed closely by Ryerson’s 28.

On Saturday the Gaels fell in five sets to Ryerson, who were looking for revenge after they were beaten 3-2 by the Gaels back in November.

This match picked up right where the last one left off. The teams came out swinging and battled until the final whistle, but ultimately, Ryerson took the final set 15-13 and the game 3-2.

Fourth-year hitter Kelsey Bishop led the Gaels’ charge with 18.5 points. Second-year hitter Brett Hagarty registered 15.5 of her own in the effort.

The pair was also dominant in their match on Sunday against Toronto, with Bishop scoring 24.5 and Hagarty following close with 23.

With their late scoring surges over the past four games, Bishop and Hagarty have steadily moved up the OUA scoring leaderboard. Both of them finished the season in the top 10, with Bishop in fourth and Hagarty in 10th.

Queen’s wasn’t fazed by Toronto’s six-game win streak, sticking with the OUA leaders and winning the match 3-2.

In the last four matches of their season, the Gaels took their opponents to five sets.

“We got better with every single one of those four matches,” Christian-Macfarlane said.

The team has three possible graduates this year, which may open up spots for some of the younger players who saw time near the end of the season. Bishop, Shannon Walsh and Katie Hagarty are all in the last year of their respective programs.

“It’s an exciting time of year, but it’s also sad,” Christian-Macfarlane said.

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