The McGill Martlets volleyball team (3-1) turned up the heat at their second home game of the season on Sunday, Nov. 5. The Martlets brought the game against the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Citadins (1-4) to a quick close, winning in straight sets of 25-16, 25-19, and 25-17.
The Martlets came out strong in the first set with 11 kills and only three errors, hitting hard and seizing control of the game from the start. Despite increased intensity from UQAM in the second set, McGill played consistently and kept unforced errors to a minimum. The Martlets comfortably won the third set to close out the game. Overall, McGill maintained a 29-26 margin in kills and out-blocked their opponents by four.
Fourth-year setter Thara Dawoodjee shone, with 23 sets to her name to help fourth-year captain Myriam Robitaille and second-year Claire Vercheval register 12.5 points and 10.5 points, respectively. Dawoodjee was pleased with the team’s overall performance throughout the game, particularly the tenacity with which they sided out and their composure on the court.
“We played really well and […] kept it constant,” Dawoodjee said. “There were a few moments when we let up with our serve-receive, but we kept pushing back and siding out. I think that was one of our strengths this game”.
This was the second home game for the Martlets after a tough home opener on Nov. 2, which they lost to their rivals, the Université de Montréal Carabins. Coaches and players alike agreed that Sunday’s game was an overall improvement from the Nov. 2 match, as the players felt more relaxed on the court.
“A lot of the girls, and myself as well, were a lot more calm on the court,” Dawoodjee said. “So you could just see [we] were playing a lot better [and] smoother[…] which is what we want.”
The Martlets’ 2016-2017 season ended in the semi-finals of the RSEQ playoffs in February. The team hopes to sustain that momentum, and spirits are high as they look ahead to the rest of this season. Elisabeth Perrault, power for McGill and second-year double major in accounting and finance, says that the team has their sights set on winning the league and making it to nationals—a goal that Head Coach Rachele Beliveau also shares. Beliveau is pushing her team to maintain the quality of play that they are able to execute at a high pace.
“We want the team to be able to get some momentum,” Beliveau said. “And to [work] more on execution […] at a faster speed of play.”
With their sights set on nationals, the Martlets’ next home game will be Friday, Nov. 10 against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (2-4) at 7 p.m.
Moment of the game
A huge block and kill by fifth-year middle Erika Cournoyer set the score to 11-9 for McGill at a crucial moment in the second set.
Fourth-year captain Myriam Robitaille earned nine kills, 15 total attacks, and only two errors throughout the game, registering an impressive 12.5 points to her name.
Quote of the game
“Everyone has their spirits up. So far, we’ve been doing really well. We’re 3-1 [and] we’re hoping to keep it going through the season, keeping it constant and consistent. That’s all that we’re looking for.” – Fourth-year setter Thara Dawoodjee