On February 3, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team beat the Guelph Gryphons 3–0.
The Blues returned to the Goldring Centre from a two-game road trip with a 5–10 record, having lost two tight games against the Western Mustangs. Having already beaten the Gryphons on January 7, the Blues hoped to extend their eleven-game winning streak against them.
“Coming down the last stretch of the season here, we really just want to… sustain our level and just play out [until] the end of the season,” the Blues outside hitter Hope Kotun explained in a post-game interview with The Varsity.
The Blues started the game strong in the first set, largely thanks to three kills from Kotun. Their dominance was rewarded, as they held the lead and took the first set 25–18.
The second set started more tightly with the Gryphons and Blues trading points to tie the set 3–3, but the Blues soon gained a dominant 10–4 lead. However, a series of kills by the Gryphons and two attacking errors saw the Blues’ lead diminish to 11–10. The Blues recovered quickly, and a kill by right hitter Olivia Zhu took the score to 23–18. Yet the Gryphons clawed back to tie the set 24–24. Nevertheless, a kill by left hitter Julia Murmann and a service ace from middle hitter Anna Gadomski snatched the set 26–24 for the Blues.
Despite the deficit, the Gryphons started the third set strong, taking an early 6–2 lead. Yet, the Blues persevered, and two kills from Murmann helped them secure a 10–7 lead and force a Gryphons’ timeout. The Blues never looked back, dominating with four service aces to win the set 25–15 and take the game 3–0.
“[It’s] something we always want to do,” Kotun said when asked about the team’s serving success. “The serve is the one element you can control in the sport. We want as much pressure as we can.”
“The cross-town rival is someone we always love playing,” Kotun said about the team’s next game against the Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold on February 4. “The crowd is always really into it and they’re [also] a really fun team to play, they hit hard and have a good defense.”
After the Blues’ second 3–1 win of the weekend against the Bold, they now sit ninth in the standings with a 7–10 record with three games remaining until playoffs. The Blues will take on Nipissing University next weekend.