Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter
By: Kyle West, Contributor
The Marauders were looking to spark some momentum after a tough loss to York on Nov. 15, who stopped their chances at a four-game winning streak. With a return home on Nov. 16, they faced University of Toronto’s Varsity Blues, one of the nation’s leading forces on the court. The match lasted five sets: after a strong fourth set resurgence by the Blues, Mac’s return home was ultimately spoiled.
Burridge gym was on the edge of their seats as they saw Mac take a strong 2-1 lead in the first three sets. But the force of the number four ranked offence, the Varsity Blues, was ultimately too strong to curtail. The Marauders defended admirably to lead to a close final tiebreaker where the Blues were able to capture the win.
There were many familiar faces putting up points for McMaster, spreading the offence through Hailey Kranics, Jessie Nairn and Marina Vesovic. Kranics lead the Marauders fight with 16 points and added two aces and five solo blocks to her already impressive record. Along with the familiar names in the box score against U of T, this match saw rookie setter Nikolina Malic at the helm for her first full game, who reached 34 assists.
Kranics lead the Marauders fight with 16 points and added two aces and five solo blocks to her already impressive record.
With the way the teams were delivering spikes, the match closely resembled blows exchanged in a boxing match. A series of runs for each side led to a gripping back and forth, giving those in attendance an exciting game from start to finish.
The Varsity Blues are one of the toughest opponents in all of U Sports. They are currently ranked second in the Ontario University Athletics East standings, with a blazing seven-game win streak. With that being said, McMaster made them work hard for the win. Taking the match to five sets proved that the Marauders can play at a high level of competition. They will be looking to continue this style of play as they approach the new year, as they are tied for third place in OUA West standings with the University of Waterloo Warriors, who they just beat on Nov. 23.
The women’s volleyball team, who was just shy of the playoffs last year, is looking forward to ending the fall portion of their season on a high note. It is important for them to regain some momentum as they approach a well-deserved month long break. The team heads out west in late December where they will be playing at the University of Winnipeg for a three-day tournament, where they should be able to secure a few more wins.
It can be tough playing out west, especially due to how cruel the winters can be. But hopefully, a hot streak will make the cold more bearable. Securing wins at the tournament would be a good way to close out 2019 and propel the women’s volleyball team for a strong playoff push during the second half of the 2019-2020 season.