A crushing defeat to Sherbrooke in the Quebec bronze medal match ended McGill’s bid to win a wild card and qualify for the CIS championship this year.
Despite posting a perfect four and zero record against the Vert et Or in regular season play, the Martlets were swept out of the playoffs.
“Our team played really shaky in the first game, which is really important one,” said Head Coach Rachele Beliveau. “If we win that one game then we would probably have been OK in the second one.”
The team’s veterans were the ones who folded in the heat of the moment, while younger players exceeded expectations.
“When you’re younger there’s less pressure, when you’re graduating it’s your last chance,” said Beliveau. “It shouldn’t be like that, you should be agressive and intense but it was the opposite this year. [The vets] were hesitant and that creates doubt, which is no good for volleyball.”
Rookie Genevieve Plante was probably the player-of-the-series, recording a game-high 21 kills in game two and 16 in game one, which was also a game-high mark she shared with graduating senior Kelsey Irwin.
Plante, along with the vast majority of the Martlets’ core, is young, so next season brings renewed promise of success.
CIS Swim Championships
Despite contending with 3,500 feet of altitude and the discomfort of a prairie winter, McGill swimmers performed well at the CIS championships held in Calgary over the weekend.
Led by two gold medals from Steven Bielby, the Redmen and Martlets fell into the middle of the pack, with the men finishing 11th and the women 14th.
Rookie Pierre-Alexandre Renaud and third-year Matthew Khatchadourian were the next best McGill performers on the men’s side, both finishing eighth in the 200m butterfly and the 50m breaststroke respectively.
For the women, Maxime Charron, Sophie Overney-Ragan, Leanne Roach, and Myriam Donato all finished in the top-16, but no Martlets made the final (top eight).
“The level of effort was phenomenal,” said Head Coach Peter Carpenter. “The meet was difficult in that [it] was held at 3,,500 feet, so that did pose some issues.”
The lack of oxygen at altitude affected the times, so it’s difficult to compare this meet with others of the year.
“It’s hard to say how we did vis-a-vis the other teams,” said Carpenter. “I can definitely say that more often than not our athletes moved up in the rankings than they moved down. By that standard we did well.”