By: Camila Stupecka
The McMaster men’s volleyball program finds themselves on the U Sports podium for the fifth consecutive season but in a similarly disappointing position. The Marauders fell in the semi-final before winning the bronze medal match to win their fifth medal in as many years.
Following a five-set win against the Université Laval Rouge et Or on March 17, the Marauders qualified for the semi-final game against the top seeded team of the championship, the Trinity Western Spartans – a familiar opponent.
In last year’s national championship, the Marauders fell to the Spartans in four sets in the final, settling for a silver medal. With all of this in tow, the Marauders anticipated a challenging semi-final match.
“Losing is never easy, but to bring home the bronze medal is something that we are very proud of.”
Fourth-year outside hitter,
McMaster men’s volleyball
Though Mac took the first set off the Spartans, Trinity Western steadied to win the next three sets.
“I think it was just a matter of execution, we know we can play at a level that will allows us to defeat anyone and we believe in our selves as a team but in that match we just didn’t execute a high enough level,” said Andrew Richards, a fourth-year outside hitter.
Mac’s win over UBC marked the final game in the distinguished careers of Danny Demyanenko, Andrew Kocur, Jayson McCarthy and Seyar Karimi.
With their hopes of a national championship gone, the Mac men did not want to go home empty handed. Following their semi-final loss, the Marauders returned to the court to face the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds in the U Sports third-place match. Determined to finish the season on a winning note, Mac made quick work of the Canada West finalists in straight sets, taking home their third bronze medal in the past five seasons.
“Losing is never easy, but to bring home the bronze medal is something we are very proud of,” said Richards.
Mac’s win over UBC marked the final game in the distinguished careers of Danny Demyanenko, Andrew Kocur, Jayson McCarthy and Seyar Karimi. The four seniors were paramount to the team’s success, which completed an undefeated season in OUA play, capped off with an OUA championship win in front of a home crowd. Throughout their respective careers at Mac, they were able to carve out a culture of excellence that will be carried on by teammates such as Andrew Richards and Brandon Koppers.
Although the Marauder men fell short of the gold medal, the successes they enjoyed this season should outshine their shortcomings. The Marauder men will continue to be the perennial powerhouse in the Ontario University Athletics conference, and come next season, will hopefully make better on their national championship performance.