THE GEE-GEES (13-5) were met with full stands at Montpetit Hall on Feb. 2, when they hosted division rivals Lakehead University Thunderwolves (1-13) for their last home game of the regular season, clinching a win and reserving a second-place ranking in the province.
Before the first serve, fifth-year libero Claudia Seguin, fourth-year middle Kathryn Weihrer, and third-year left side/right side Laura Carmanico were recognized for their dedication to the program. While Weihrer will be back on the Gees’ roster next year, Carmanico is undecided, and Seguin, the team’s current captain, will not be returning.
“They’re three people that just really exemplify what the Gee-Gees are,” said head coach Lionel Woods. “The three of them keep being an example for everybody we have on our team about what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”
The first set saw the Garnet and Grey start strong with a 7-3 lead, but the underdog Lakehead squad used a solid serving run to push back and tie the set at 7-7. While the visitors kept the first frame competitive, the Gees eventually came out on top with a 25-20 win.
“As the match went on, I think we found our rhythm,” noted Woods. “I think the scores went the way they went because our players just stayed really focused. We had a job to do, and that was win the match. The most respect we can give any team is to play tough all the way through, and I thought we did.”
The second set began as a tight race, but the Gee-Gees pulled away at the midpoint. A seven-serve streak by second-year left side/right side Karina Krueger-Schwanke put the Gees up 19-10. They took the win with a score of 25-16.
Up two sets to zero, Woods decided to spread around the playing time by substituting some less experienced players onto the court. Despite the lineup changes, the Gees managed to stick to their game plan and polish off the Thunderwolves with their third frame win of 25-16.
“It was good because we got to have some of our bench players in,” said Weihrer of the team’s third set. “They got an opportunity to play and they came through for us. It was awesome.”
The U of O team was back on the court Feb. 5, playing in Toronto against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (10-6). The game proved to be a tight one, with the Varsity Blues on top, two sets to one after three sets. The Gees managed to dig deep and eke out a comeback in the final two frames (25-21, 15-9). Ottawa’s win against Toronto secured them second place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) regular season, and they will now look to the playoffs.
The Gees will host a quarter-final playoff match at Montpetit Hall on Feb. 18 against the seventh-seated OUA team.