The women’s volleyball team travelled to Kingston, Ont. this past weekend to take on both the RMC Paladins and Queen’s Gaels.
As the team moves closer to the playoffs, every game must be a win if they are to knock Guelph out of first place.
McMaster currently has one more loss than Guelph, putting them within two points of first place.
During the Jan. 31 game against the Paladins, the Marauders’ five game conference winning streak came to a halt after a five set battle.
The Marauders were able to take the lead in the match after winning the first set 25-23.
In the set, the Marauders worked on having accurate passing and great serving.
They seemed to be developing on skills that cost them sets in previous matches.
“Working through adversity should become easier as we continue to develop as a team,” said first year player Sophie Bukovec, who led with 23 points during the match, including five aces.
McMaster’s next set showed an offensive weakness and they seemed like a different team who had played the set before.
RMC outplayed the Maruaders in the second set, and tied up the match at 1-1, after beating McMaster 25-14 in the second set.
“We just need to have confidence in our ability as a team to perform at its best at all times,” said Bukovec.
The Marauders were back in the swing of things during the third set, commanding a lead and outplaying the Paladins.
The Marauders were able to get the upper hand, reversing the score and taking the set 25-14.
McMaster was hoping to win the match in four sets, after leading 2-1, but fell three points short.
A close match from the start, the Paladins were able to pull ahead and win the set, 25-22, tying the game at 2-2 and bringing it to a fifth set of 15.
The fifth set was a struggle, needing to go to extra points, but eventually RMC came out on top, winning the set 17-15 and the match 3-2.
In a weekend double header, the Marauders knew that losing this game put them one loss behind Guelph, and knew that they needed to win the next game against Queen’s to have a shot at that first spot.
“My goal for the rest of the season is to finish first in our conference, which will require us winning the next few games,” said Maicee Sorenson.
The Marauders lost the upper hand to Guelph after a close first set.
The Marauders had excellent play at the net, and led at the technical time out. McMaster continued to lead and seemed to have the set in the bag at 24-16, however, a dismal performance allowed Queen’s to score eight consecutive points to tie the game at 24 all.
The Marauders fought to stay alive, but Queen’s took the two point advantage, winning the first set 27-25.
The Marauders entered the second set playing as a team that wanted to win the match and started setting up the ball perfectly for kill opportunities.
The Marauders, down a point at the technical timeout, took the opportunity to rack up consecutive points and outscore the Gaels to take the set 25-21 and the match one set apiece.
After a poor start to the third set, the lineup was shifted, hoping to make a difference.
Queen’s got close to winning at 23-20, but McMaster dominated the offense, landing kill after kill to eventually take the set 26-24.
The fourth set saw a similar back and forth play between the Marauders and the Gaels.
Things were in McMaster’s favour as they led 12-10 but Queen’s quickly got the lead, getting within one point of winning the set, but were held off by three consecutive points scored by the Marauders before eventually taking the set 25-23.
The Marauders were headed to another 15 point set.
Despite the last one not ending in their favour, the Marauders were determined to put another win onto their record.
The Marauders stole the lead at 8-6, and ran with it.
The Marauders showed their excellent offense, but won the match point with an amazing defensive double block, winning the match 3-2, making their record 11-6.
Joanna Jedrzejewska led the team with 20 points and 17 hits, and Taylor Brisebois, Maicee Sorenson, Mira Krunic and Sophie Bukovec had 13.5, 13, 12.5 and 12 points respectively.
The cohesion that allowed five players to achieve double digits will help them in future games if it can continue.
“It’s important that we stay focused with every single point of every match we play, and in order to do this, we must stay connected with each other,” said Krunic.
The Marauders take on the Brock Badgers on Feb. 7 in St. Catharines, Ont.