Photo by Kyle West
After finishing the first half of the season 4-7, it seemed as if the Marauders would need a serious holiday miracle to win again. Their first game of the 2019 schedule was against the No. 9 nationally-ranked Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks, and winning did not seem on the horizon. However, behind the leadership of veteran Connor Gilmore, who had 22 points, they pulled off the upset, winning 79-67. Hopefully, the good start will follow them into the rest of the year as they face the University of Guelph Gryphons this Friday, who boast the same 5-7 record, and the Golden Hawks again the following night who will surely be looking for revenge.
For the women’s team, winning comes easy. After defeating the Golden Hawks with a whopping 82-62 win, it seemed as if they did not skip a beat in the new year. Linnaea Harper led the team in scoring with 17 points, and the women bumped up one spot in the national rankings now sitting in fourth. With Guelph and Laurier again to beat this weekend, the Marauders will hope to maintain their four-game winning streak and improve on their 10-2 record.
The men’s volleyball team used international competition to improve their game over the holidays. Although they did not leave Long Beach, California with a win going into the New Year, they saw overall team improvement, which is exactly what they went there to do. These improvements were on display the following week as they took on a top Polish team, Jastrzebski Wegiel, and defeated them twice (3-1 and 3-2). The No. 6 nationally-ranked Marauders will now return to conference competition against No. 7 University of Windsor Lancers and No. 8 Western University Mustangs this weekend.
The women’s team did not take on any non-conference competition this holiday season, although during the break they added top talent setter and defensive specialist Christina Stratford, and setter Nikolina Malic for the 2019 recruiting class. The Marauders will be hitting the court for the first time since Nov. 30 this weekend, facing the 3-6 Lancers and the 5-4 Mustangs. Currently sitting at 5-3, these games will determine if McMaster will stand out in Ontario this season or fall down the rankings.