By John Mather
Women’s volleyball coach Bob Cholette will be missing from tonight’s game (Feb. 1) against the University of Toronto.
He won’t even be let in the gym. The coach was suspended by Ontario University Athletics for one game after a referee expelled him from a game on Saturday, Jan. 28. Cholette shouted and slammed his clipboard on the ground after the referee called a controversial lift on Brianne Koning in the fifth set of a grueling match against Queen’s.
The Golden Gaels won 24-22 as a result. “She made a call I didn’t agree with — or anyone else in the gym,” said Cholette, who was only informed of the expulsion for “offensive conduct” and suspension on Monday. “I wasn’t profane, I wasn’t threatening, I didn’t step towards her, I didn’t attack her personally … I just told her that it was a brutal call.” Any coach expelled from an OUA game is automatically suspended for the following game.
“I know the rules and I know what I did was within the rules,” said Cholette. “But what are you going to do? Queen’s head coach Chris Galbraith called the lift on Koning a “very brave call.” He said he only saw the play in the corner of his eye.
“I wasn’t thinking ‘That’s got to be called.'” When the Rams take on Toronto this Wednesday at 6 p.m., assistant coach Stefanie Simao will be in charge. Cholette said the women are comfortable under her leadership.
The pressure is on the team to qualify for the playoffs and they are chasing Queen’s and Lakehead for the final spot in the East.