March 12, 2019 7:18 pm

Queen’s men’s volleyball team looking for respect at U-Sports national championships

WATCH: The Queen's Gaels, OUA champions, are off to Quebec City for the U-Sport men's volleyball championships.

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The Queen’s men’s volleyball team left today for Quebec City to compete in the U-Sports national championships, which are set to take place March 15-17.

Despite being crowned the Ontario University Athletics champions, the Forsyth Cup winners are ranked sixth in the eight-team field.

“I don’t fully understand how they can rank us as low as they did,” said Gaels graduating player Dylan Hunt.

The six-foot-seven middle blocker from Sharon, Ont., looks forward to proving a lot of people wrong.

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“The ranking system is out of our control,” he added.

READ MORE: Queen’s University to host the OUA volleyball championships

“All we can do is go to Quebec City and play to the best of our ability. If we play our game and play for each other, I think we’ll do well.”

While the ranking may be a surprise to Queen’s, the Gaels, coached by Gabriel DeGroot, plan to raise a few eyebrows at the Canadian championships.

“I sort of understand why we’re sixth,” said outside hitter Adam Boljkovac.

The first-year engineering student from Edmonton says the west is a powerhouse when it comes to university volleyball.

“They’ve won it several years in a row,” added Boljkovac.

“We don’t play them during the season, but I still don’t think it’s fair to rank us behind all four teams from the west. Brandon is No. 1, Trinity Western is No. 2. The Mount Royal Cougars are No. 4 and the Alberta Golden Bears come in at No. 5. This weekend, we’ll make a strong case to show that we deserve a little more respect.”

READ MORE: Longtime Queen’s volleyball coach says the time is right to retire

The sudden-death quarterfinal playoffs begin on Friday.

The Gaels open up against host team Laval Rouge et Or.

Queen’s finished the season with a record of 19-3. Laval won the Quebec and Atlantic Conference title with a perfect mark of 20-0.

“We’ll have to fight off the home crowd,” said Boljkovac.

“It will be exciting, that’s for sure. We look forward to the challenge of proving we belong.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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