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Gee-Gees’ dominant in preseason

Photo credit: Marta Kierkus 

This year will offer a second chance to the women’s volleyball squad, whose players say they’ll be fighting till the end to be number one.

After a disappointing season last year, having lost all their games at nationals, they want to return and earn a spot in the top four.

So when the Gees beat McMaster, New Brunswick, Ryerson, and McGill all in one weekend at this year’s Gee-Gees Preseason Classic, they sent a message that the team will stop for no one.

“I definitely want a gold medal and nothing else,” said graduating middle Myriam English. “I know that I am not the only one who thinks this way. Being so close to winning last year, we do not want to be in that situation this year.”

“The team is at a very good place,” said fourth-year middle Alix Durivage.“We all have the same goals in mind and that’s what allows us to play well together.”

In their final game, the ladies defeated McGill in all three sets to win gold in the Oct. 3–5 preseason tournament.

That helped them see where they stood compared to other teams and how it compares to last season. The tournament allowed them to regain some confidence and have a fresh start, said the players.

“The team understands now how much work we have to put in in order to succeed, and that we can’t only count on our athleticism to make us win,” said Durivage. “We understand that every time we step on the court, we have to give it our all, mentally and physically, whether it’s during a game or even a practice.”

The garnet and grey have a very experienced team, with three graduating players; Alix Durivage in her fourth year, and many second and third years. They have a great chance of making it to national rankings early, and they know it.

“We’re a top 10 team again this year, if not top five,” said graduating middle Kelsie English. “We have many returning players this year, and our maturity is coming out already.”

The team said the preseason helped them grow close on and off the court, to recognize their strengths and weaknesses, and to become comfortable playing in their home gym.

“We definitely fed off the energy of our fans,” said Myriam English. “We’re looking forward to playing a regular season match after such a solid preseason.”

“I want to win,” said Kelsie English. “Not just for myself and the other graduating players, but for the future of the program and for the girls returning.”