Women’s Volleyball hosts at the ARC

Gael’s went 2-1 at the Queen’s Invitational Volleyball Tournament  

Queen’s is preparing for the season.
Queen’s Women’s Volleyball hosted McGill, Nipissing, and Toronto-Metropolitan University this weekend at the ARC for the Queen’s Invitational Volleyball Tournament. The Gaels finished with an overall score of 2-1 and are heading to a volleyball showcase later this month in Langley, BC. 
In the first exhibition game on Friday, Sept. 30, the Queen’s Gaels defeated the McGill Martlets with a final score of 4-0. 
The Gaels won the first set 25-16, the second set 25-12, the third set 25-21, and the fourth set 25-21. Shea Baker, a setter, had 22 assists during the game, leading the Gaels to a victory. The Gaels scored a total of 51 kills during the match, doubling that of McGill’s.
One standout player, Hannah Duchesneau, had an impressive 15 kills of her own. The match was tight throughout, but the Martlets struggled to match the Gaels intensity. 
Duchesneau was a key player for the Gaels last season. In 2021, she played with Team Canada in the Pan Am Cup tournament. She’s an outside player; Head Coach Ryan Ratushniak has said top-tier performances from this crucial position will make the Gaels successful.
“The outside position is going to be the strength of our team,” Ratushniak said in a press release.  “We have a lot of strong outside hitters and a lot of depth in that position, which is nice.”
On Saturday, the tournament’s second day, the Gaels challenged the Nipissing Lakers. Queen’s barely lost the first two sets—25-22 and 25-23, respectively—then rallied to win their last three sets. They won the third 25-22, the fourth set at 26-24, and fifth 15-12. In the last nine years, the Gaels have only suffered one loss to the Lakers. 
The women’s volleyball team worked together to achieve this win. The Lakers had powerful serves, scoring 18 aces on the Gaels, but Queen’s kept fighting. 
Queen’s stands out because they aren’t focused on individual success. Instead, the team does an incredible job of working together. The Gaels had 59 assists, an impressive total that exemplifies the passes they completed throughout the game. On the defensive side, Lauren Mellon, Amanda Siksna, and Mary Stewart were solid in blocking ten Laker’s spikes. 
After every point, win or lose, you can find the players on the court high fiving and encouraging each other. These teammates clearly care about each other. Unfortunately, the final exhibition game was unsuccessful for the Gaels. 
On Sunday, Oct. 2, Toronto Metropolitan beat Queen’s with a final score of 25-21 in each set. Although the Gaels put up a good fight, Toronto scored more kills and digs. The Rams maintained tenacious consistence during each set. 
Even though this loss was not what the Gaels were hoping for, Ratushniak considers each defeat as a learning opportunity. 
“Every time we run onto the court, we have the opportunity to get better. That’s what we’re trying to do,” he said in a press release.
In 2017, Ryan Ratushniak became the Head Coach of the Women’s Volleyball team. He has an impressive resume, including a five-year playing career at the University of Manitoba and an assistant coaching role for the Canadian women’s and men’s national volleyball teams. 
After going 2-1 this weekend, the Gaels have an overall record of 5-4 this season. Their next games will be in Langley, BC on Oct. 15 where they will challenge the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds, the Mount Royal Cougars, and Trinity Western. 

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