KINGSTON, Ont. (from Queen’s Gaels) – The Queen’s Gaels (8-3) took their eighth win of the season in three straight sets against the Trent Excalibur (0-10) on Sunday afternoon as the Gaels continue to hold down second in the OUA East. The scores of each set were 25-15, 25-19 and 25-15 respectively.
“I thought we stayed focused on what we wanted to do in terms of how we wanted to play with aggression,” said Gaels head coach, Ryan Ratushniak. “Our hitters were really efficient this game, Neville, Wiercirgroch, and overall we played really well.”
In the first set, the Gaels took an early lead, as they saw kills by Shannon Neville (Cambridge, Ont.) and Makayla Keith (Calgary, Alta.) which helped the Gaels keep and continue to hold onto their lead. Keith was particularly strong at the net in the opening set as she teamed with multiple Gaels to win the net game. The Tricolour continued to build on their teamwork, finding holes in the Excalibur defence. An attack from Julia Wiercigroch (Mississauga, Ont.) ended the first set with a cross-court kill going off the Trent block.
The Gaels kept their momentum going into the second set and managed to take another lead. The Excalibur quickly found their groove and surpassed Queen’s taking the lead as they looked to even the match. It was a battle for the lead for most of the set, tying it up several times before the Gaels broke the tie at 14-14. Nicola Ros (North Vancouver, B.C.) stole a beautiful point off a tip just between the block by Trent. Wiercigroch snagged another ace this set, and the Tricolour found a rhythm and began to work together to advance past Trent. Neville had another strong kill bringing the Tricolour to set point, and a serving error by Trent ended the set with a score of 25-18.
The Gaels got off to a rocky start in the third set but managed to reclaim their lead early in the frame. Wiercigroch and Keith found the gaps in the Trent defence and put several kills into the ground for the Gaels. Defensive efforts for Queen’s built up their momentum and blocks by Ros and Keith continued the pressure on Trent. The Tricolour continued to work together to keep their lead, and offensive efforts by Keith and Neville solidified the win. The match ended with a cross-court kill by Keith and a score of 25-13.