by Gaurav Sardesai
The Lance – Sports Intern
The Lancer men’s volleyball team has bounced back from their season-opening loss with back-to-back wins in Kingston.
The Lancers overcame the Queen’s Gaels in a hard-fought 3-2 (25-22, 26-24, 18-25, 25-27, 15-10) victory Oct. 24 and dominated RMC Paladins Oct. 25 to a 3-1 (25-18 25-17, 22-25, 25-14) win.
“They [Queen’s] are always a very strong team.” said Lancers head coach James Gravelle. “We’ve had five straight matches versus them that have gone to five sets, so it was nice to stick with it.”
Friday’s game demonstrated The Lancers’ ability to battle through adversity after they allowed Queen’s to come back from a 2-0 deficit to level it up 2-2. The fifth set saw a shift in momentum as the Lancers overcame a difficult Gaels side to steal the win.
“We were up two sets to nothing, then came out in the third set with a little bit of a lull and Queens pushed back, so the third set slipped away from us,” said Gravelle. “To go to the fifth set after being up 2-0 was a little bit frustrating, but those types of matches build a lot of character and I’m very happy with the result.”
Gravelle was understandably pleased, but more so because the win emphasized the great team spirit within his squad.
“We had key contributions from players off the bench and we had great support from players on the sidelines as well, so it was truly a great team win and that was nice to see,” said Gravelle.
The coach singled out Chad Hinchey, who came off the bench to turn the momentum back in the Lancers’ favour and Shawn Reaume, whose incredible dig – and a play of the year contender – created the opportunity for a vital point in his team’s shift in momentum.
Saturday night’s starting team saw Shaun Reaume, Paul Borger and Greg Simone left out of the starting line-up, but coach Gravelle said it was purely down to the excellent level of depth available to him within his squad.
“Because we have such a deep team, we were able to plug in some other players and get the job done and it was nice because all of our players got in the match and got some experience, so it was a really successful weekend,” said Gravelle.
Gravelle said he wants his team to be able to serve better, as they missed a lot of serves on Saturday night, but the team’s defensive strength is encouraging and what Gravelle said he believes will carry this team forward.
The Lancers will host the Guelph Gryphons Oct. 31, followed by the Waterloo Warriors the following night.