Queen’s Women’s Volleyball advances to Quigley Cup

Gaels upset third-ranked Warriors in three sets

The Gaels celebrate their upset win over Waterloo.
Supplied by Waterloo Athletics
Women’s Volleyball did it again: another playoff sweep.
This weekend, the Gaels upset yet another team in the Women’s Volleyball OUA playoffs. After beating the Western Mustangs last week 3-0, they managed a repeat phenomenon with a sweep over the Waterloo Warriors to punch their ticket to the Quigley Cup.
With the odds and their regular season record stacked against them, the Gaels went to battle on Waterloo’s home court. Queen’s, however, refused to let the analytics dictate the outcome. 
After a slow start in the first set, the Gaels gained some unstoppable momentum. Their outstanding passing allowed the front court to take full advantage of each play, leading to a 25-22 win. 
Queen’s teamwork was consistent throughout the entire match. They stacked 45 assists against the Warrior’s measly 20 and showed how an in-sync team makes all the difference.
Individual excellence only elevated the team’s cohesive performance. Arielle Palermo had an outstanding game on the left side with five of her fifteen kills coming in the first set. In the second set, the Warriors got out to a three-point lead, but the Gaels fought back with two six-point runs. Their diligent reaction kept Waterloo at 18-points in the set, with many of their points a result of Queen’s mistakes rather than productive offensive action. 
Queen’s maintained their momentum into the third set as they closed the gap between them and a spot in the final. Elimination looming, the Warriors responded with some great adjustments and newfound energy to pull ahead 12-10. 
The Gaels responded. Rachael Meilikhan led the charge with excellent serves, Shea Baker set up the attacks with precise passing, and Palermo finished things off with kill after kill. After a 12-point run for Queen’s, this trio was finally stopped, but it was too late as Waterloo had to score 13 points with Queen’s only needing three more. 
The Gaels ultimately won the set 25-13, recording their second playoff sweep in a row. 
The Gael’s performance this weekend should not be taken lightly. Only two weeks earlier—on Feb. 17 and 18—Queen’s suffered two regular season losses at the hands of Waterloo. 
Queen’s actually entered the post season with a five-game losing streak, but refuses to be defined by their regular season rollercoaster. Instead, they have started telling a different story of unstoppable playoff dominance. 
The Gaels continue the battle not only for the OUA championship at the Quigley Cup, but also a spot at nationals. Only one team from the OUA—either Queen’s or Brock—will move on to compete at the U SPORTS championship. A banner would be Queen’s first since 2012.
The game will be played at Brock and is available to stream at OUA.tv on March 11, starting at 6 p.m.  

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