Photo: Parker Townes.
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Strong performance against top team a good result for Gees

Following a string of tough losses, the University of Ottawa Women’s Volleyball team pushed the University of Montreal Carabins, who are ranked third in the country, to come within arms reach of a huge upset. The Gees pushed hard all game, but fell 15-11 in the fifth and final set.

The Gees opted for some fresh blood in their starting lineup against the Carabins, with rookies Tristan Peterson and Milana Grahovac starting at left side and middle, respectively.

It was a slow start for the Gees, falling to 8-3 early in the first set and never recovering. Montreal kept up the pressure, eventually winning the first set 25-14.

However, the Gee-Gees were able to focus in the second set. It was a busy start to the set, with the teams trading points back and forth. Peterson scored back to back points to keep the game close at nine apiece.

Both teams continued to put on a strong performance, until a pair of aces by Kara Hayes helped the Gee-Gees pull even at 20-20. Both teams showed no sign of letting up, as a big point from Peterson tied the game at 24 apiece. Finally, the Garnet and Grey pulled away, taking the second set 27-25.

The Gee-Gees kept their momentum going in the third set, starting with a rash of points to lead 5-1 right out of the gate, and extending their lead to 8-3. Over the course of another tight set, the Carabins looked like they might pull away, but some big team plays let the Gees take a lead at 18-17. From then on it was an easier set for the Gees, who went on to win the set 25-21, taking a 2-1 lead and coming one set away from an upset against the third-ranked Carabins.

But in the fourth set, the Gee-Gees showed signs of slowing down. After an equal start, leading to an early 3-3 score, the Carabins pulled ahead and never looked back. Montreal cruised to a 25-12 victory, to tie the game at two sets apiece.

The Gees came out with more fire in the fifth and final set. The team’s blocking, which had come up big several times in the game, was on display early, with Meseret Tamrat and Kaly Solo putting up a double block to take a 3-2 lead early in the final set.

The fans were starting to worry as the Carabins started to pull away, and the Gees called a timeout down 11-7. After that, the team showed they still had fight in them, pulling within two points at 11-9 and again at 12-10. In the end, the Carabins pulled out the victory after a contested fifth set, winning the set 15-11, and taking the match three sets to two.

Despite the loss, it was a strong performance for the Gee-Gees against one of the top teams in the country, and something they can build on going forward.