KINGSTON, Ont. (from Queen’s Gaels) – The Queen’s Gaels (5-5) were able to snap a five-game losing streak as they returned home to the ARC for the first time since November to defeat the Trent Excalibur (0-9) 3-1. The scores of each set were 25-21, 25-13, 24-26 and 25-14 respectively.
“It’s been two months since we’ve played at home and it was really nice to get back on home court,” said Gaels head coach Brenda Willis. “I think we allowed the opponent to dictate the level of the match too much and we made too many errors. Fortunately, they made just as many and allowed us to be successful.”
The game started out with two back to back serving aces for Markus Trence (Hockley Valley, Ont.) contributing to the Gaels lead. Trent picked up the intensity and tied the game the pushed ahead of the Tricolour as they began to put together a run of points. The Gaels struggled to get through the Trent blocks but broke the wall to find holes in the Excalibur defence. Kills by Joel Rudd (Cambridge, Ont.), Zac Hutchinson (Kingston, Ont.) and Trence kept the score close and the intensity high. The Gaels took the lead late in the set and continued to play as a team winning the first set on a Trent error.
The second set started in the Gaels favour, with two points for Trence. The Gaels continue their momentum, racking up an early lead on the Excalibur. Jack Peckham (Hamilton) and Hutchinson contributed several kills to the Gaels score and lengthened the Queen’s lead. The Excalibur came back strong after the timeout, but it was no match for the Gaels. The Tricolour continued to send kills to the Trent defence and took the second set off a Trent block sent out of bounds. The score of the second set was 25-13 for the Gaels.
The Gaels lost some of their intensity early on in the third set but matched Trent soon after. The Gaels took several errors in this set and fell behind Trent. Queen’s was able to pick up the pace after a time out and tied the game at 19. Two consecutive errors put Trent in the lead again, and the Gaels battled hard to tie it up at 24-24. The Tricolour lost the set off of an error with a score of 26-24.
In the fourth set, the Gaels took an early lead and played a fantastic offensive set. An all-around great team effort was made by the Tricolour to maintain their lead. Malcolm Prentice (Oakville, Ont.) stepped up with an amazing kill and was followed by a kill from Jonathan Reid (Oakville, Ont.). The Gaels took a 12 point lead on the Excalibur and ended the game on a Trent hit out of bounds. The final score of the set was 25-14.