Men’s volleyball gets back on track

Gaels earn three-set sweep against Trent

The Gaels never lost control in this match.

The Queen’s men’s volleyball team improved their record to 3 – 3 after coasting to an easy three set sweep against Trent University on Sunday, bringing them back to .500 for the second time in this early season.

A strong showing from Erik Siksna led the Queen's team—his contribution of 14 kills and six digs through the three sets helped to pace the Gaels.

After taking a commanding lead of 8 – 3 at the start of the first set, there was no looking back for Queen’s. They continued on to win the set 25 – 18 while never giving up the lead beyond this point, showcasing their toughness and determination to get ahead early.

The game's second set was Queen’s biggest challenge. This was the case not just due to an ambitious effort by Trent University, but also an ankle injury sustained by All-Star setter Zane Grossinger.

After landing on his teammate’s foot, Grossinger was forced out of the game, leaving backup Liam Wilson to fill in his role. Wilson was reliable in his relief effort and helped lead Queen’s to a 25 – 20 second set win—and eventually, the overall win.

Finally, in the third set, Queen's rode the momentum of their previous play, and were able to complete the sweep with a stress-free 25 – 20 set win.

When asking Head Coach Gabriel DeGroot about the severity of Grossinger's injury and his choice to not put him back in the game for the third set, he responded, “Based on the opponent and where we are in the match, Liam went in and did a great job, so there is no reason to take him out when he was getting the job done. Moving forward, Zane is our go-to setter for sure, but Liam’s a huge supporting role in our team.”

Although this may have looked like an easy win on paper, DeGroot still wasn’t short on criticism of their play: “Overall, we have a lot of work to do after this weekend. This game identified some big holes in our game right now that we have to fix, particularly our serving game.”

Coach DeGroot was specifically talking about their abundance of missed serves, as it accounted for 41 per cent of Trent’s total points throughout the three sets. DeGroot stated that although he wants his players to keep an aggressive mindset when serving, he wants to limit this percentage moving forward. DeGroot mentioned of that number, “A lot of it is the mindset. We’re mentally not tough enough to go back there and put in our best serve.”

Even with this win bringing their record to 3 – 3, there is a clear ­­­­­­­­­­imbalance ­­­­­within this record, as all three wins have come at home and all three losses have come on the road.

On these splits and the steps the team will take to prepare moving forward for away games, DeGroot said, “A lot of teams bring out a lot of fans because they’re playing a big opponent, so we need to learn how to rise to the occasion with these teams who are also rising to the occasion.”

Now on an 11-day break, the Queen's team looks to build on their momentum and bring their record to over .500 for the first time this year against the RMC Paladins on Thursday, November 21 at 8 p.m.

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