By: Alexandra Reilly
It was a very busy weekend for the McMaster Women’s Volleyball as they saw some double-header game action both at home and on the road in Toronto.
The Marauders whirlwind weekend began with a visit to Toronto to face the Ryerson Rams at their brand new Mattamy Athletic Centre. The start of the first set was slow for both teams and very out of the ordinary for the Rams, as they are known for their powerful starts to take control of the game early. The Rams held on and remained in the set as the Marauders made many attack errors and handed Ryerson 15 extra points during the set.
Despite many mistakes during the first step, McMaster picked up the pace thanks to some key blocks from Shannon McRobert, which allowed the Marauders to take the first set with a close score of 25-23.
The second set proved dramatically different for both teams as they closely matched each other throughout the majority of play. The Rams soon took control, turning their 10-8 deficit into a 14-10 lead over the Marauders. The lead continued to increase for the Rams as they took a 9-point lead over the Marauder contingent.
McMaster showed true determination as they worked to decrease their opponents lead, soon bringing the score to just 24-21. Despite Mac’s best efforts, Chelsea Briscoe of the Ryerson Rams finished things off in a big way with her third block of the game to allow the Rams to take the second set 25-21, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie.
The third set proved to be one of the best for the Rams as they racked up a total of 16 kills throughout. The Rams took the third set 25-20, changing the pace of the game for the Marauders.
The fourth set started off rough for the Marauders, as the Rams were able to take advantage early on and hold a 12-7 lead. McMaster railed back, overtaking the Rams to put themselves in the lead with a 13-12 comeback. Lauren Skelly proved to be the driving force behind the comeback as she had back-to-back kills in the set, forcing Ryerson to go to a timeout.
After the time out, the Rams returned with full force to take an impactful 19-14 lead over the Marauders with a powerful six-point run. After some major serving power for the Rams, they were able to overtake the ladies in Maroon with a 25-17 victory to end the fourth and final set, and to take the game 3-1 over the Marauders.
Despite the loss, the Marauders own Shannon McRobert had an amazing game with a team-high ten total kills and four blocks during the game.
After the loss to the Rams it was on to the next one for the Marauders as they headed back home to Hamilton to face the Varsity Blues on Sunday afternoon.
The Marauders would struggle early on, taking a 25-20 loss in the first set to the Blues, but would get their revenge dominating Toronto in the second set 25-18. It would take the Blues extra points in the third set to regain their lead over the Marauders, but those points would prove deadly, helping them to take the third set 27-25 despite lots of hard work from McMaster.
The game would continue to a fourth set, in which McMaster would put up another great fight but fall short as the Varsity Blues closed out the game 3-1 with their 25-23 win in the final set.
Toronto’s Charlotte Sider was the difference maker in the game with 20 kills and 24 digs. Jennifer Neilson also played a large role in the Blues’ win with 13 kills and an additional two aces for 15 points.
McMaster’s Kailee Stock racked up 13 kills in the game and added 3 aces.
The Marauders must now look forward to their next game, which was rescheduled to Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. in Burridge Gym. McMaster will take on the Guelph Gryphons and look for a crucial win on home turf.