Gryphon volleyball women keep eye on playoff berth

GUELPH – The Guelph Gryphons moved into a tie for fourth in the West Division of the OUA women’s volleyball league by sweeping the Lakehead Thunderwolves Sunday at the Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.

“We’re playing better volleyball and making fewer errors now – fewer unforced errors which has sort of been our mantra in the second half of the year,” Gryphon coach Paul Funk said. “We’ve cut down on the number of unforced errors that we make and our slogan is ‘Make them play.’ That’s what we’re doing more of now.”

The Gryphs won 25-18, 26-24, 25-17.

“I told the girls yesterday that this was kind of a trap game because they played a very energy-draining match on Friday and won (3-2 over the Waterloo Warriors), wait a day and then had to come back and play on a Sunday afternoon which has never been our strength,” Funk said. “There was a danger there of letting up and letting Lakehead have more success than they should against us.

“We didn’t start the game very well and we had a bad stretch in the second set where we gave up an 8-2 or 9-2 run which I wasn’t happy with, but we played well enough to win.”

The victory was the third in a row for the Gryphs who had finished the 2017 portion of their schedule at 1-8. They’re now 5-9 and tied for fourth in the division with Waterloo as the Warriors are at 5-8. Top four qualify for the crossover quarter-finals.

Libby Donevan had nine kills, thee digs and three blocks for the Gryphs while Michaela Hellinga had eight kills, four aces and six digs. Laura Duncan had six kills, an ace, a dig and a block while Jessica Gormley had five kills, an ace, a dig and a block, Hazel Atkins had three kills, two aces and eight digs and Alex Curran had three kills, an ace. 13 digs, five blocks and 28 assists.

Leah Mousseau had 12 kills and 13 digs for Lakehead while Haleigh Kearns had 10 kills, an ace, four digs and a block.

The Gryphs have five games remaining on their regular-season schedule starting with a Saturday game against the Warriors at Waterloo starting at 6 p.m.

“We still need some help,” Funk said of his team’s possibility of qualifying for the playoffs. “At the halfway point of the year we needed about 23 things to break our way in order to have a shot and probably 12 of them so far have gone our way and maybe a couple haven’t. Our next match against Waterloo will be a big one as well, but we’re back in the hunt. We were dead and gone after the first semester, but we’re back in the hunt now.”

The other games remaining on the Gryphon schedule are matches against the Toronto Varsity Blues (9-4) and Trent Excalibur (0-11) at home and road matches against the Western Mustangs (10-3) and Windsor Lancers (6-8).


Gryphons 3 Thunderwolves 0
Guelph 25 Lakehead 18
Guelph 26 Lakehead 24
Guelph 25 Lakehead 17
Kills: Lakehead 37; Guelph 36
Assists: Lakehead 33; Guelph 33
Aces: Lakehead 6; Guelph 10
Digs: Lakehead 43; Guelph 40
Blocks: Lakehead 4; Guelph 12
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