KINGSTON, Ont. (from Queen’s Gaels) – The Queen’s Gaels (10-4) took a four-set battle against the Brock Badgers (4-9) on home court 3-1. The scores of each set were 25-19, 25-16, 17-25 and 25-16.
Queen’s got off to a quick start and took an early lead in the first set of the game. A kill by Isabelle Korchinski (Anmore, B.C.) and an ace by Natalie Crews (North Vancouver, B.C.) put the Gaels in the lead in the early stages, and Makayla Keith (Calgary) and Julia Wiercigroch (Mississauga, Ont.) created a four-point gap between the Tricolour and the Badgers. Brock found their footing again and tied up the first set at 6-6, but the Gaels managed to pick out holes in the Badgers defence. Shannon Neville (Cambridge, Ont.) had an unstoppable first set with six kills and an ace to the back right court to close the set with a score of 25-19 for the Gaels.
The second set continued the offensive momentum the Tricolour created in the first. Keith made a strong kill early in the set, finding a gap on the Badgers defence. The Gaels made numerous tips towards Brock, but the Badgers defence managed to rally and keep Queen’s from taking the lead. The Tricolour accumulated several errors during this set which put them at a deficit. Blocks by Crews, kills by Wiercigroch and an ace by Neville redeemed the Tricolour and allowed them to take a two-point lead over the Badgers. A kill to the back court from Korchinski and blocking errors made by the Badgers lengthened the Gael lead to 21-16. An ace by Crews and two more kills to the central back court from Wiercigroch put Queen’s at set point. A hit out of bounds from Brock ended the set with a score of 25-16 in favour of the Gaels.
Kills by Wiercigroch and Sierra Hardy (Oakville, Ont.) brought the Gaels off to a good start in the third set. The Gaels attempted many offensive attacks on the Badgers, but the Brock defence made quick reactions and digs, holding the Gaels from taking an early lead. Technical errors made by the Gaels gave the Badgers the lead. A solid block by Korchinski brought some defensive strength to Queen’s, but strong defensive blocks from the Badgers allowed Brock to take the lead. An offensive error made the Tricolour end the third set with a score of 25-17 in favour of Brock.
The fourth set of the game started out evenly between the Gaels and the Badgers until tips sent over the net by Neville and aces made by Wiercigroch put Queen’s in the lead. Errors made by Brock and defensive blocks from Korchinski allowed the Tricolour to extend their lead. Queen’s took a seven-point lead on the Badgers. A kill right to centre court for Korchinski put the Gaels into position take the game and the set closed with a serving error by the Badgers and a score of 25-16.
By the numbers
5 – serving aces for Makayla Keith
11 – digs for Isabelle Korchinski against the Badgers
15 – kills for Shannon Neville against the Brock Badgers
“The [Badgers] serving was kind of tough and once we stabilized our passing it was a lot better of a game. We had to focus on our own energy and do our job on the court, and we were able to do that we could outperform them in skill.” – Julia Wiercigroch
The Gaels are back in action at 1 p.m. Sunday at the ARC to take on the McMaster Marauders.