The women’s volleyball team has been in superb form as of late. And Saturday’s game was no exception.
In a cross-town battle, the Gaels swept the RMC Paladins 3-0 in straight sets.
The win was the Gaels’ sole match of the weekend and improved their record to 12-4 on the season. With six wins in their last seven games, the win helped Queen’s keep pace with the U of T Varsity Blues for second place in the OUA East with 24 points.
“It was good to be pushed and to play our best and come out on top,” head coach Ryan Ratushniak said on Saturday. Despite coming away with a straight-sets victory, the coach said the Paladins tested them at certain points in the game. In the second set, Queen’s squeaked out with a 26-24 win.
With Queen’s recent success — including a win against the nationally-ranked McMaster Marauders last week — Ratushniak has put an emphasis on having the Gaels force their opponent to adapt to their style of volleyball. He said it’s something they must do consistently over the course of a full game.
“It’s mentally a bit of a different challenge for us to try to play our best all the time,” Ratushniak said. “We did [well] in different situations and our opponents pushed us so we played really good defence.”
On the weekend, Queen’s was led by first-year outside hitter Julia Wiercigroch. After a career weekend against McMaster last Sunday with a season-high .522 hitting percentage, Wiercigroch led the Gaels with eight kills against RMC. She’s currently ranks second on the team in this category with 154 kills.
With just three games left, the Gaels are looking ahead at arguably their most important pair of games this season. Next weekend, Queen’s is set to play U of T in Toronto and the undefeated Ryerson Rams at home.
“We’re just trying to take it one game at a time,” Ratushniak said. Although the playoffs are right around the corner, the coach added his team isn’t planning on looking far into the future.
“The focus will be on preparing for Toronto … from there we’ll keep preparing hard for our next opponent,” he said. “If we do that and stick to the process, the results will come.”
The two games against U of T and Ryerson, which take place next Friday and Saturday respectively, will likely serve as a primer for the upcoming playoffs. Win or lose, Ratushniak said the Gaels are pleased with their level of play going into the postseason.
“We’re on the track, we’re playing the right way,” Ratushniak said. “We’re a hungry team, a team that’s playing well — so we just want to keep doing that.”
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