Winless weekend

Gaels slip-up against Lancers and take a straight set loss against the Mustangs

The women’s volleyball team went on a disappointing road trip last weekend, ending their five game winning streak with losses to the Windsor Lancers and the Western Mustangs.

On Saturday, the Gaels came out on the wrong end of a five set match against the Lancers 21-25, 25-12, 24-26, 25-9 and 12-15. Outside hitter Natalie Gray led the team with 15 kills while outside hitter Lorna Button recorded 11 kills and 14 digs.

The following day the team traveled to Western where they were handed a straight sets defeat by the Mustangs 16-25, 19-25, 17-25. Gray again led the team with eight kills and libero Becky Billings had a team-high eight digs.

The losses dropped the Gaels’ record to 9-3, good for third place in the OUA East standings.

Head coach Joely Christian-Macfarlane

said she wasn’t impressed by her team’s play over the two losses.

“The outcome wasn’t what we wanted,” she said. “From a performance standpoint it wasn’t what we wanted. When you play really well and you don’t get the result it’s one thing, but when you don’t play well and on top of that don’t get the result, it’s a different game. For us the performance was something that we lacked.”

While the Mustangs sit with a 10-3 record near the top of the OUA West, the Lancers picked up only their second win of the season against Queen’s to move their record to 2-11. Christian-Macfarlane said that there were a number of factors that contributed to the Gaels’ loss to the Lancers.

“We dominated two sets and the opportunities were definitely there for us to take that match [against Windsor],” she said. “It was both mental errors and a lack of execution at the end of the match. We made the bulk of our mistakes at the end of the match. You can’t do that when you’re trying to finish. It definitely had a negative impact on us.”

Christian-Macfarlane said the loss against Windsor seemed to have an effect on the following day’s game against the Mustangs.

“The emotional impact is probably more than you actually anticipate because you do feel that it was a game that you let go,” she said. “We talked about recovery. It was a focus of ours to come back and play strong but it just wasn’t there for us mentally and emotionally and we fell short.”

Christian-Macfarlane said the team will look to improve their on-court communication moving forward.

“Our communication really broke down towards the end of both matches,” she said. “I’ve stressed it a lot that our communication is the key to our success. … It’s about reactivating communication not only at the beginning of the games, because at the beginning we’re fine, but it’s making sure our communication is consistent start to finish.”

Queen’s will face the University of Toronto Varsity Blues this weekend at the ARC and then travel across the city to take on Royal Military College Paladins on Sunday afternoon.

“Our goal is to not even think about the losses,” Christian-Macfarlane said. “They are what they are—they’re finished. We can’t change anything about them.

“Right now our focus is preparing for this weekend and doing the things that we need to do that we did very well in the first half. We need to focus on taking care of our games [tonight] and Sunday.”

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