The Martlets spent a tough weekend at Love Competition Hall, failing to climb past third place in the RSEQ rankings. The team started their weekend on Friday against the Montreal Carabins at home, losing in 3 hard-fought sets (21-25, 26-28, 23-25), and continued to stumble on Saturday against Laval in Quebec City, dragging the Rouge et Or to four sets (16-25,14-25,25-19,24-26) before ultimately falling short.
To explain the Martlets’ downfall against the Carabins, one could pinpoint their inconsistent effort on the offensive end. The offence came out strong every set, but faded midway through. Setter Yasmeen Dawoodjee and middle Marie Pier Durivage worked seamlessly together to keep McGill in the game, but the no. 3 ranked Carabins were just too much for them to handle. Marie Cristine Lapoint and Durivage both led the team on the scoresheet for McGill. Lapoint recorded nine kills and two assisted blocks for 10 points, and a game-high 19 digs. Durivage chipped in 10 points of her own, with six kills and four blocks.
The three set sweep left McGill disarrayed after previously defeating Montreal in a three set sweep of its own earlier this year. The Martlets remain stuck in third in the RSEQ. Dawoodjee understands that the team must continue building on its performances if it wants to achieve its goals for the season.
“Our game against Montreal was bittersweet,” said Dawoodjee. “We applied our game plan in terms of defence against such big hitters and serving to certain players to take them out of the game offensively. Team chemistry-wise on the court, we were working together to earn point by point. Nothing went wrong to end up with a loss but it was [a] tough loss because we knew looking back that everyone could’ve given that extra little push to collectively pull out a win against a team that we had previously beaten at their home in three sets.”
On Saturday, McGill went up against the CIS no. 7 ranked Laval. Sophomore power hitter Ashley Norfleet continued her excellent streak of play as she scored a game high of 18 points, with an outstanding 17 kills. Despite the individual brilliance from various members of the team, the Martlets have been unable to put the pieces together. After a disappointing weekend, the squad is being tested both mentally and physically, and must respond as a unit on the court throughout the entirety of the game, rather than isolated spurts of solid play.
“It’s taken a lot of time and work to get to where we are mentally now,” said Dawoodjee. “The girls individually are much more solid at preparing themselves before the game and maintaining it through the game.”
The Martlets still need two wins to make the post-season with four games remaining in the regular season. They travel to Outremont to compete against the Carabins once again on Jan. 24 before facing off against Laval at home on Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. in Love Competition Hall.