After besting the UQAM on Friday, the Gees pulled off a big win against the first-place Montréal Carabins. Photo: Marta Kierkus.
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Gees treat fans to thrilling victory in final home game of regular season

After pulling off an impressive 3–0 victory against the Université du Québec à Montréal Citadins on Feb. 10, the University of Ottawa women’s volleyball team geared up for their final home game of the regular season the very next day.

The Gees fans were out in full force as they took on the first-place Université de Montréal Carabins, and the home team did not disappoint.

As has been the case a number of times this season, the Gees got off to a slow start, going down 16–5 in the first set. They did their best to come back, but still lost the set 25–17.

The second set didn’t start out much better, with the Carabins taking a 17–8 lead. But the Gees demonstrated a no-quit attitude that has become a trademark of the team, and fought back to win the set 25–22.

Carrying that momentum into the third, the Gees totally outplayed the Carabins, easily downing them 25–15.

Montréal was determined not to go down without a fight in the fourth set, and played the U of O close the entire frame. However, the Gees eventually came out on top, winning the fourth set 25–23.

After the game, head coach Lionel Woods praised his team’s character in coming back to win the entire match.

“To start the way they did, most teams would have packed up tents and gone home the way that first set went. We made adjustments on what it was that was causing that, and it took them two sets to trust us to do it. They did it, they bought in, they had the right attitude again, and we (won).”

Fifth-year setter Kira Tome credited the Gees’ ability to come back in the second set to their “team-first mentality.”

“In the first set we just decided we can either look down and just give in to the game and let them beat us, or we can fight back,” said Tome. “We knew we came down from a lot and really fought back. So I think we were feeling good going into the second set knowing that we can play together and we continued that atmosphere all the way through.”

Despite the point difference in the standings (Montréal has 26 points to Ottawa’s 18), Woods thought his team showed that they are more than capable of competing with the Carabins.

“We can play toe-to-toe with them, as long as we’re putting our first contact somewhere in the circle to play with.”

Tome said the focus going into the final two games of the regular season will be on continuing to grow together as a team.

“We’ll have to maybe adjust some things, but most of all (we want to focus on) just being together and enjoying it and having fun and keeping that atmosphere even when we’re down five, ten points.”

The Gees now sit in a four-way tie for second in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec with 18 points. They have a double-header against Laval next weekend to close out the regular season.

The Gees’ final two regular-season games will take place in Laval on Feb. 18 and 19. The playoffs are scheduled to start on Feb. 24.