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Bronze medal win leads to U Sports Volleyball berth A tough loss in the semi-finals wasn’t enough to take down the Marauders

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Photos C/O Richard Zazulak

The big question going into the men’s volleyball semi-final match was whether or not the Queen’s University Gaels would topple the McMaster Marauders for the second year in a row. Having previously bested them in last year’s Forsyth Cup, everyone was wondering how this year’s semi-final matchup would go.

Last year’s loss was very close, with the Marauders almost pulling away with the win. There were plenty of chances for McMaster to come back, but they ultimately fell short and had their six-year win streak taken down.

Last year’s loss was very close, with the Marauders almost pulling away with the win. There were plenty of chances for McMaster to come back, but they ultimately fell short and had their six-year win streak taken down.

When the tournament was set with McMaster gaining home-court advantage after blowing out the Nippissing Lakers, everyone’s ears perked up when word spread that they would be taking on the Gaels at home. 

This gave McMaster a massive advantage, playing in front of a lively Burridge Gym gave the impression that Mac would undoubtedly have the upper hand. At first, it looked like they did.

McMaster went into the first set blazing hot and fought off a strong Queen’s effort to seal off a close win at 25-23. Queen’s, however, was not going to stay in the losing column for long. After falling in the first set by a small margin, they entered the second with determination.

McMaster went into the first set blazing hot and fought off a strong Queen’s effort to seal off a close win at 25-23. Queen’s, however, was not going to stay in the losing column for long. After falling in the first set by a small margin, they entered the second with determination.

Queen’s would go on to win the next two sets with a blazing offence. They won the second set 25-17 and the third set 25-18. Even in the face of these strong performances and being one set away from securing their spot at the finals, McMaster wasn’t going down without a fight.

McMaster won the next set, but it was a hard-fought battle. Mac gave everything they could to get to a 26-24 win, leaving the match tied in set victories. This led the teams to a dramatic tie-breaker set, where the first team to 15 would advance forward and claim the win. 

Queen’s quickly pulled up in front with five straight points. Unfortunately, their early lead was a preview of how the rest of the set was going to go. McMaster fell in a really close match, leading them to play in the bronze medal game against the University of Guelph Gryphons.

This match may have held more significance than the Queen’s rematch. Whoever won the bronze would have been given the last chance at a USports National championship run.

In the bronze medal match, which took place March 7, the Marauders had something to prove—and boy did they do just that. They swept the Gryphons in three straight sets, claiming the bronze medal and a trip to the U Sports national championship. Unfortunately, following recent public health regulations amidst growing coronavirus concerns, the national championship has been cancelled

In the bronze medal match, which took place March 7, the Marauders had something to prove—and boy did they do just that. They swept the Gryphons in three straight sets, claiming the bronze medal and a trip to the U Sports national championship. Unfortunately, following recent public health regulations amidst growing coronavirus concerns, the national championship has been cancelled

Had the Marauders run into Queen’s again during nationals, the matchup could have easily developed into one of the most interesting storylines of the tournament.

 

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Author: Kyle West

Kyle West is our Photo Reporter for Volume 88 entering his third year of art history and his twentieth year of binging Buzzfeed's Unsolved series. If he was a food, he might be a bowl of pho. If he was a desk designer, he would build desks for people of above-average height. He has only fears sea manatees. We hope he will not encounter any in the course of his work with us.