The Gees need to string together a couple of wins down the final stretch of their season. Photo: Marta Kierkus.
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Gee-Gees ranked fifth in RSEQ going into final games of regular season

The University of Ottawa women’s volleyball team took on the Université de Sherbrooke on Feb. 4 in a match that was as dramatic as they come.

Slow starts have been a difficulty for the Gee-Gees lately, as they have won the first set in only one out of their last seven games. This match was no different, since they still dropped the first set 25–18.

The Gees came out looking much stronger in the second set, getting out to a 17–11 lead. Unfortunately, the Vert et Or battled back to make it a 22–20 game for the Gees.

The Gees should have closed it out then, but Sherbrooke rattled off five consecutive points to take the set and go up 2–0.

At this point the Gees were looking pretty disheartened after giving away a set they absolutely should have won.

However, head coach Lionel Woods must have said something inspiring to his team at the half, because they came out in the third looking dialled-in and confident.

The Gees won two close sets, both by a score of 25–20, to make it a 2–2 game heading into the fifth set.

Second-year offside hitter Kara Hayes had seven kills in the fourth set alone on her way to a season-high 16.

Sherbrooke stormed out in the fifth set to take an early 8–4 lead. The Gees pushed back, but were down 12–8 when Woods called a timeout.

“I just said ‘guys, you’re fine. You’re absolutely fine. Let’s just keep going. You have enough guts to do this.’”

Even though they were up 13–10, Sherbrooke was called on an attack error followed by two bad sets in a row to make it a 13–13 game.

Sherbrooke took a 14–13 lead, but big-time kills by third-year Caroline Lemay and fourth-year Kaly Soro was enough to win the game for the Gees.

“In a scenario like that I either have the wipe off her hands or the tip over top. And I was like, you know what, screw it,” said Soro, talking about the kill that gave the Gees a 15–14 lead. “I was going with aggressive attitude and I’m going to do it, and I’m going to get it. I saw her hands and made the shot, and that was that.”

Woods said the team needs to be prepared to play tight games like this going forward, and was impressed with how they handled it.

“We know to win in the playoffs in this conference you’ve got to be willing to play five-setters, three-setters, whatever it takes. And I gotta hand it to my kids, they went back out and I thought, if you looked at their body language at the beginning of the third, it looked like we were up 2–0, not down 2–0.”

Unfortunately, the Gees lost 3–1 to the McGill Martlets on Feb. 5. As a result of this loss, they are now 7–9, and sit fifth in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec. While it’s still a tight race, the team has some ground to make up in their remaining four games before playoffs start.

The Gee-Gees’ next home game is on Feb. 10, and their final home game of the season is Feb. 11. Tickets can be purchased from the Gee-Gees website.