Poise powers straight-set victories

Goyer shines as win streak stays on track

Philippe Goyer led the Gaels in kills during both games and is sixth in the OUA with 3.37 kills per set.
Philippe Goyer led the Gaels in kills during both games and is sixth in the OUA with 3.37 kills per set.
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The Gaels have won eight of their last nine contests, including four in straight sets.
The Gaels have won eight of their last nine contests, including four in straight sets.
Photo: 

A York Lions player kicked a sideline chair in frustration midway through his team’s loss to men’s volleyball on Sunday.

Queen’s (8-4) marched through two opponents this weekend without losing a set, overpowering the Nipissing Lakers (3-9) on Saturday and muscling out York (7-5).

Queen’s and York had identical records going into the weekend, making the victory especially sweet. The Gaels now own a five-game win streak, moving them into a tie with the Guelph Gryphons (8-4) for third place in the OUA.

The Gaels came out confident in the first set against York, committing few mistakes — the only noticeable exception being a York service ace that sailed untouched between Philippe Goyer and Markus Trence.

Queen’s continued to widen the gap, comfortably taking the first set 25-12.

A rotational mismatch early in the second set saw setter Jamie Wright faced off against two big, strong Lions. Head coach Brenda Willis scrambled to find a more favourable matchup.

“We were trying to figure where to put [Wright] blocking-wise to get the best matchup but there really wasn’t one,” Willis said. “When you’ve got a guy who touches almost 12 feet against a blocker who’s not quite 10 feet, you’re defending the whole court because he can hit wherever he wants.”

Once the disparity was settled, the Gaels went right back to firing at full speed.

A kill from outside hitter Mike Tomlinson eventually ended the competitive set 26-24 — after which York outside hitter Arthur Swarcz booted the sideline chair.

Willis approached the referee, who didn’t see the incident and consequently didn’t hand out any discipline.

The third frame also required extra points, as the Gaels closed out the match with a 26-24 win.

Willis was particularly impressed with Wright’s play.

“He quarterbacked a very good offence in terms of getting the guys one-on-one, getting the ball out to the line so we could attack the line,” she said.

“The whole team did an excellent job of keeping errors low,” Willis added. “Offensively, we had two attack errors from serve receive and only one in transition, so we made York earn their points. We didn’t give away free points.”

Goyer was the top scorer for the Gaels with 13 kills. Tomlinson had 10 kills, nine digs and three solo blocks, while Trence added eight kills, four digs and four assisted blocks.

The men shut down Nipissing on Saturday, winning 25-15, 25-19 and 25-21.

The Gaels limited errors once again to seal the victory. Goyer led the team with 16 kills and contributed 11 digs. Tomlinson had 10 kills and libero Ivo Dramov was solid in the backcourt, tallying 17 digs.

This Sunday, the Gaels take on the McMaster Marauders (11-1), the second-ranked team in the CIS.

“They don’t have many weaknesses, so we’re going to have to work on hitting really high,” Willis said.

“All the pressure’s on Mac. They’re the number two-ranked team and we’re not, so we can play freely and aggressively and just try to be as strategic as possible.”

OUA Men's Volleyball Standings

1. McMaster (11-1)

2. Ryerson (9-3)

T-3. Guelph (8-4)

T-3. Queen’s (8-4)

5. Waterloo (8-5)

6. York (7-5)

7. Western (6-6)

8. Windsor (4-8)

9. Nipissing (3-9)

10. Toronto (3-10)

11. RMC (0-12)

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