Men’s volleyball team wins consolation final at nationals
March 18, 2019
Two Queen's Gaels teams competed in U Sports national championships on the weekend:
The Queen’s Gaels defeated the Mount Royal Cougars in three sets (25-21, 25-22, 25-21) early Sunday afternoon to finish fifth at the 2019 U Sports Men's Volleyball Championship at Université Laval in Quebec City.
Improving on their seventh-place finish from last year, the Gaels rounded out their tournament with a win, coming close to their program-best fourth-place finish in 2012.
At the heart of his team’s offence, middle Dylan Hunt was selected Player of the Game for Queen’s with six kills and an ace. Hunt also stood out on defence with four digs and five blocks.
“We didn't have a lot of time to prepare (the players), but what we laid it out for them, they executed fabulously. Our serving, regardless of the errors, was on point; we really put them on their heels,” Gaels head coach Gabriel deGroot said after the game. "Huge credit to Zane (Grossinger), he distributed the ball really well and made our attackers look good. We're really proud of the performance the team put in this week, such an amazing team effort. I don't know if everyone can tell in the stands, but this team has a lot of fun and it showed in their performance today.”
In their opening game Friday night, the Gael lost to Université Laval in five sets (22-25, 25-23, 22-25, 25-23, 13-15).
The Gaels then rebounded on Saturday to beat the McMaster Marauders in straight sets (25-21, 25-18, 25-19).
The Trinity Western Spartans won the national championship, beating the Brandon Bobcats in the final in straight sets (25-23, 25-21, 25-19).
The Queen's Gaels dropped a 5-3 decision to the St. Francis Xavier X-Men at the 2019 U Sports Cavendish Farms University Cup in Lethbridge, Alta.
StFX were able to overcome a three-goal deficit and outlast the Gaels to advance to the semifinals while Queen’s saw their inspiring season come to an end.
Queen's came out of the gates with speed and precision and were the better team early. The Gaels would open the scoring just after the six-minute mark on the power play as Gaels fourth-year forward Luke Edwards tipped a point blast from defenceman Nevin Guy.Edwards would strike again just over four minutes later. After accepting a nifty entry pass from forward Jaden Lindo, Edwards would speed in on a partial break, and snap a wrist shot just over the blocker of StFX goaltender Chase Marchand.
The torrid pace would continue for the Gaels when third-year rearguard Francesco Vilardi streaked to the net, tapping cross-ice feed from forward Owen Stout into the open side.
StFX would get on the board late in the period on a power play goal by Holden Cook and the comeback was on. In the second period StFX would cut the lead to one at the 13:37 mark through Adam Stevens. The X-Men pressed hard to find the equalizer early in the third period. Cook drew his team even just after a Gaels penalty expired.
The X-Men would get their first lead of the game just past the 14-minute mark of the third period. After a defensive coverage breakdown by the Gaels, StFX second-year forward Adam Laishram would find himself all alone in the front of the net. He made no mistake and rifled a wrister to the top corner to bulge the twine.
Ultimately, StFX forward Sam Studnicka would ice the game for the X-Men with an empty netter with 42 seconds left.
In Sunday’s championship final, the University of New Brunswick Reds beat the University of Alberta Golden Bears 4-2.