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Women’s volleyball returns with high hopes of a spot in the CIS top four in the new year

Photo Credit: Richard Whittaker

Gee-Gees women’s volleyball returns this January to serve up some competitive match-ups, starting with two exhibition games against McGill on Jan. 7 and Montreal on Jan. 9.

Mid-season, the team now sits in second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East and 10th in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS). They’ve come a long way from their faulty start to the season, recording a strong 8-3 record before heading off for the holiday break.

“We bounced back quickly after our first weekend of losses,” says Kaly Soro, left side hitter. “And, also grew and used those losses to fuel us for the rest of the games.”

Indeed, the top highlights during the 2014 part of the season were their rematches against Nipissing and York, two great games that showed the two teams the Gee-Gees were capable of dominating.

“All the work that we’ve put in since our loss against York has paid off and what we’ve been working on is now getting results,” says Soro.

Head coach Lionel Woods added that it was the team’s “most complete match all season.”

With 10 games left, the team aims to win another OUA championship and hopefully a CIS title.

“This is normally the goal in the second half of season,” says Soro. “The focus of being first in the OUA and reaching top four in CIS has not changed, and I don’t think it will change anytime soon.”

The new year often comes with hefty and elusive resolutions, but the team wants none of that “new year, new team” cliché. Rather, their goal lies in maintaining the consistency they are known for.

“The team’s focus is to be the most improved team since the last game played,” says Soro. “We’re really trying to get more aggressive and consistent with our serving, and we’re working on digs with more precision on defence.”

The two exhibition games at the beginning of January will put that hard work into play.

“Montreal is placed third in the country so it will be nice to play them again just in case we meet them in a CIS final,” says Soro.

The team will return to regular season play on Jan. 11 at 2 p.m. with a match-up against the Lakehead Thunderwolves in Thunder Bay, followed by a home game on Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. against Waterloo at Montpetit Hall.