Warriors heading to semifinals after big win against Queens

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The Waterloo men’s volleyball team came out on top after an intense battle against the Queens Gaels on Saturday night in front of a crowded PAC.


 This win places Waterloo in the top four teams of the league and gives them a shot at OUA semifinals where they will challenge their eternal rivals, the Western Mustangs. This will be the third year in a row in which the Warriors will face the Mustangs during the semifinals. 


The first set started with a fast paced trade of points between both teams. The Warriors struggled to add points and block the constant kills of the Gaels. The Gaels built an early 9–5 lead, but the Warriors soon caught up and tied the game at the 17 point mark. The Gaels would strike back and take a second lead of 21–17, and the Warriors were unable to answer back, dropping the first set 22–25 and giving the Gaels the 1–0 advantage.


The second set saw both teams engage in a tight affair with little room for mistakes. The Warriors started early in the set with a three-point lead. The strong momentum kept the Warriors in search of points, giving them a 17–13 lead. Fifth-year James Evans was instrumental during the second period for the Warriors, contributing with 14 kills and two blocks. The Gaels were unable to catch up to the Warriors, and had a couple of costly mistakes that gave a 23–17 advantage to the Warriors. After a technical timeout the Gaels were unable to score for the remainder of the second set, giving it up to Waterloo 25–17.


The third set began just as the second one, with a quick trade of points between both squads. The Warriors went up by four points, making it 4–0, but the Gaels were quick to score and tied the set 4–4. Waterloo would then gain another four-point lead that kept them on top of the Gaels for most of the set. The Warriors secured the set with a 23–17 advantage. Tyler Motherwell and Jordan Dyck gave Waterloo the edge and took the set 25–21.


For the fourth and final set the Warriors took an early 16–9 lead, but the Gaels start to make a comeback and put the Warriors on their back by scoring four points in a row, making it 16–12. After that, both teams would trade points up until the 20-point mark. Waterloo would then keep adding points to the scoreboard, securing the win in one of the closest matches of the season. The Warriors took the set 27–25. Scott Thompson contributed with 50 assists, giving the Warriors a shot at the semifinals.


The Warriors took the game 3–1, but had to minimize the scrappy Gaels for most of the game. Mike Tomlinson and Aaron Nusbaum. Tomilson contributed with 15 kills to the Gaels, while Nusbaum contributed with 9 kills of his own.


During the weekend, six members of the Warriors earned spots on the 2014 OUA All-Star Team. Eric Woolley was named the OUA libero of the year with 227 digs. Veteran Warrior Scott Thompson secured his spot with 720 assists. Jordan Dyck, James Evans, and Jordan McConkey also received spots at the second all-star OUA team. Head coach Chris Lawson was named OUA coach of the year.


The Warriors will make their third trip in as many years to the OUA semifinals, and will take on the Western Mustangs on Friday, Feb. 19 in Hamilton. A win will put them into the OUA championship match and the CIS tournament. UW Athletics is selling tickets for a fan bus ride to the game.