Sports, Volleyball

A set, a spike, and a win for women’s volleyball

McGill women’s volleyball (3–2) faced the Montreal Carabins (2–3) in their second meeting of the season on Oct. 31. With confidence in their every move, the Martlets won 3-2, marking the third win of their campaign so far.

Charlene Robitaille, a fourth-year nutritional science student at McGill and middle blocker for the team, noted that this confidence stemmed from the team’s earlier victories.

“We were really excited because of our game from the previous week against the Carabins,” Robitaille said. “When we were practicing this morning, we had very good control. We were really looking forward to [the game].”

Despite their high hopes, however, the first set did not entirely go according to plan. The game was neck-and-neck, with both teams proving to be fierce competitors. The Martlets were deliberately forceful from the start, with sheer power behind every attack.

“Our biggest goal for this game was to be aggressive,” Robitaille said. “Mostly in terms of our hitting, but also for our serves [….] No one on our team was scared of the other team’s blocks.”

Ultimately, the Martlets’ efforts were in vain, as the Carabins’ tactical play and point-saving digs led them to overpower their opponents. A slew of back and forth points eventually led to a 23-25 set win for the Carabins. 

The first set loss sparked a fire in the Martlets, and they came back with a searing energy that spurred on an immediate change in the team’s strength. Their focus was up, everyone was communicating effectively, and the entire team moved as one. 

To start off the second set, the Martlets carried out relentless blocks and spectacular spikes. Clara Poire had a particularly strong spike that paralleled the net as it jetted towards the ground. The constant pressure allowed the Martlets to gain an advantage of 16-5 before the referee called a technical time out. 

The Martlets continued their rampage throughout the second set, winning 25-18. The third set saw this trend persist, and though the Carabins were keen to block their opponents’ powerful serves, the Martlets won 25-16. 

Endurance on both sides was needed as the fourth set began, with the score at 2-1 for McGill. Though they had the window open to winning it all, the Martlets unfortunately fell short, finishing 20-25 and forcing the game into its fifth set. 

The final set had the crowd on the edge of their seats. Even though the Martlets bested them in their previous match, the Carabins did not go down without a fight. 

There was no clear winner in sight when the set began, but diamonds are made under pressure, and the adrenaline of the tie fueled the Martlets. The Carabins seemed to adopt the same aggression tactic as their opponents, but to no avail. The Martlets blocked left and right, and finished off the game 15-11, winning both the set and match.

Moment of the game: 

A cut shot by right-side hitter Clara Poire grazed the other side of the net as it sped to the ground, making it impossible to return. 


“Each win is important [….] We have to concentrate on every game. We focus on the game at hand before looking too far ahead.” —Fourth-year middle blocker Charlene Robitaille

 Stat: Martlet power-hitter Brook Brown led the team with 15 kills.

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