The Gee-Gees women's volleyball team opens up regular season play this weekend, hosting the Montreal Carabins and the McGill Martlets on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
Ottawa comes into the regular season with a 5-3 record in exhibition tournaments, finishing second in the home tournament and fourth at the McMaster tournament. During the tournaments, all players on the active team roster experienced significant playing time – a valuable reassurance of the team's depth.
Head coach Lionel Woods, entering his 28th season as head coach, will continue to lean on that depth, recognizing the balance within his lineup brings strength.
LINEUP BY YEAR: (*2017-18 starter, number of sets played for top substitutes)
5th year left side Caroline Lemay (RSEQ All-Star in 2017-18 and 2016-17)*
5th year libero Sabrina Roy (RSEQ All-Star in 2017-18 and 2016-17)*
4th year outside hitter Kara Hayes*
4th year setter Emily Lenton*
3rd year middle blocker Dana Bulloch*
3rd year outside hitter Niève Séguin
2nd year setter Mia Dragicevic
2nd year libero Magalie Frappier (64/81 sets played)
2nd year middle blocker Milana Grahovac
2nd year outside hitter Tristan Peterson (51/81 sets played)
1st year outside hitter Avery Hughes
1st year outside hitter Grace McKale
1st year setter Robin Melnick
1st year middle blocker Rachel Powell
As in years past, the Gee-Gees will continue to use an aggressive service to set the tone while increasing the speed within the attacking system.
"Our key team goals for the first half of the regular season are to stay focus on controlling our side of the court no matter what happens as well as to keep our team rhythm throughout the matches," says Sabrina Roy, who this year is balancing time in Teacher's College with her final year of Gee-Gees volleyball.
"As a team, we've learned a lot from last season. We've worked really hard on the court, we've been disciplined in our strength and conditioning programs and we've worked a lot on our mental toughness over the summer. Therefore, we are feeling extra motivated for this upcoming season. I would also add that our rookies really fit into our team well - both by their technical and athletic strengths that complement the existing team as well as by their hard-working attitudes. All of these factors have created an incredible team spirit and chemistry that will be key to achieving our goals for this upcoming season."
"Realizing that I am in my fifth and final year has been surreal," Roy continues. "I can't believe this is my last year playing the sport I love and being surrounded by awesome teammates and coaches. I think this is one of the best team's I've played with over my career and I'm looking forward to doing amazing things with my team and showing everyone what we've got! That being said, I can't wait to start my last season as a Gee-Gee and to let it all out on the court!"
All Gee-Gees home games will be webcast on OUA.tv, with away games periodically webcast by the opposing teams. Information will be available on the team twitter account, @geegees_wvball as well as the Gee-Gees website.
Tickets for home games are for sale online at tickets.geegees.ca, while Gee-Gees pass holders get access to the games for free.