Gee-Gees women's volleyball team, fall 2021. Image: the Fulcrum.
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Gee-Gees volleyball record falls to 3-8 after loss to Vert et Or

150 fans braved the cold and found a way to Montpetit Hall to show their support for the Gee-Gees women’s volleyball team, despite the elements. The fans who made it out were quickly treated to an entertaining first set. 

The set, which saw the Gees start off serving, began with some good hitting, forcing Sherbrooke’s libero Ariane Fortin-Haines to make a couple of huge digs to keep the set close. Those digs led to points for Sherbrooke, which helped them get out to an 8-5 lead.

This was the moment Nicole Hildebrand caught fire with serves. Hildebrand helped the Gees get three points in a row. On the fourth serve, though, Sherbrooke changed their strategy to protect Sophie Tremblay, who was having a rough time receiving Hildebrand’s serves. This worked in their favour as they stopped the run and regained the lead in the process, making it 9-8 for the Vert et Or.

Ottawa kept the momentum up, amplified when Denae Bristow had a huge stuff at the net to put the Gees in the lead 11-10. The team would then widen their lead to 13-10 before Sherbrooke brought it closer at 16-14. After Sherbrooke made a pinch server substitution, they got back in the set. Although Bristow was still being a force on the attacking end, it was Shebrooke’s middle blocker, Marianne Boucher, who began to heat up, getting a block and a kill back to back to bring the set level at 17. The Vert et Or would score one more before U of O elected to use a timeout. However, the timeout was not enough to slow down the trajectory of Sherbrooke in the set, as they would go on to win the opening set 25-22.

The second was much tamer, with Sherbrooke controlling the set all the way through. However, the Gees did bring it close in the middle of the set at 15-13 with significant contributions from middle Janae Mckay and Avery Hughes. Sherbrooke added to their lead, bringing the score to 20-16, when they decided to swap their setters.

Emma Bergeron, who had 23 assists in this contest, was subbed off for Emilie Dumetz, who was making her homecoming return as an Ottawa native in front of friends and family. Whether it was jitters or a bit of rust off the bench, Dumetz had an unfortunate start, with her first touch being a double touch, then a pass went array. However, she would sort it out by getting an assist and then an ace to seal the second set for the visitors.

In the third set, it was the Langevin and Bristow show with great sets and deadly kills. The set was hotly contested and was tight up until it was 15-14 for the away team. Sherbrooke would go on a four-point run, which was capped off by a ferocious jump serve by Camille Theriault down the line and went untouched. The Gees would push to make a late comeback, bringing them within three, however it was too little, too late, as the Vert et Or would win the match and take the Gees down in straight sets.

The Gee-Gees can hold their heads high knowing they were in every set of this game, and they can definitely be proud of performances from Bristow, who had a game-leading 11 kills and Langevin, who tallied 29 assists. The team will look to cause an upset on the road against the top team in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ), the University of Montreal.