U of O sits third overall in the RSEQ with 5–5 record
The University of Ottawa women’s volleyball team was in action twice this past weekend, as they hosted l’Univeristé de Laval Rouge et Or for a competitive double-header.
The opponents met for the first time on Saturday, Nov. 26 and the Gee-Gees came out strong, winning the first set 25–23.
But Laval came back hard in the second set, getting an early 9–3 lead that U of O was never able to recover from. Laval took the set 25–18.
The next two sets were much closer, with Laval winning the third 25–22 and the final set 25–20. Third-year Caroline Lemay led her team with 17 kills.
After losing the first game on Saturday, the Gees looked to avenge their loss on Sunday, Nov. 27.
The implications of this contest were huge, since every point is vital in the very competitive Réseau de sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).
The game showed signs of a hard-hitting affair early on as both teams controlled each other’s serves. Fourth-year middle Meseret Tamrat was very strong on the net, helping to block Laval’s attacks.
Down 18–15, the Gees reeled off 10 straight points to win the set 25–18, thanks in no small part to some solid serving from fifth-year setter Kira Tome. Lemay got the last point on a great spike to secure the set win.
Laval took the first point of the second set off the longest rally of the game, with both teams not giving up anything. Tamrat showed off her vertical with a great block and spike sequence, giving her team a 6–4 lead.
The Gees took the second set 25–16 as they staved off some pressure by Laval.
Laval continued their strong play in the third set, taking their largest lead so far in the contest by going up 19–12. Third-year libero Sabrina Roy came up with the dig of the game to save a sure point by Laval, and the Gees rallied off of that to secure the point.
Despite the Gees’ latent momentum, the Rouge et Or took the close set 25–22, and a fourth set was necessary.
The Gees looked like they would run away with this set, going up 23–13.
Unfortunately, Laval wouldn’t go down without a fight. They rattled off ten consecutive points to tie the game up at 23–23. The Rouge et Or took the fourth set 26–24.
Laval carried this momentum into the fifth set, going up 7–2. But the Gees managed to fight back to within one point as the intensity continued to pick up. With a great spike from third-year Kaly Soro, the garnet and grey took their first lead of the set, 11–10.
Lemay would win the set, and the game, 15–11 for the Gees, with her team-leading 17th kill of the game.
Head coach Lionel Woods praised his team for the resiliency they showed throughout the weekend.
“When we’re good, we’re good, and you need to battle every minute,” he said. “We were even down 7–2 in set five and then we had some character to find a way to play our best again.”
Woods also thought the team’s mental focus resulted in them doing better on their first contact on serves, which he believes was their Achilles heel this semester.
Following this weekend series, the Gees hold a 5–5 record and are tied for third place in the RSEQ.
The next home game for the Gee-Gees will take place on Jan. 21 at 2 p.m. at Montpetit Hall, where they will be taking on the McGill Martlets. Tickets can be purchase here.