The McMaster Marauder’s men’s volleyball team had a busy weekend, hosting the Toronto Varsity Blues on Friday, Jan. 11, and the Ryerson Rams on Saturday Jan. 12. The Marauder’s won the Friday match quite handily, but the match on Saturday was a tougher feat, as it went into 5 sets – their longest match of the regular season.
At the Friday night game, the first set saw McMaster dominate early on, getting up to a lead that they would keep for the remainder of the set. The Varsity Blues still managed to hang on and compete, but after the technical timeout, the Marauders got up to an 8-point lead. The Marauders ended up winning the first set 25-17.
The second set saw the Varsity Blues working hard to try and diminish the Marauders momentum. Early on the Varsity Blues were leading by three points. The Marauders eventually regained their momentum, however, and took the lead at the technical timeout. McMaster took the second set 25-21.
In the third set, the Varsity Blues refused to quit and got to a lead of 16-12 at the technical timeout. The Marauders eventually closed the gap, but the Varsity Blues never gave up, and led the set 24-22.
The Varsity Blues were under extreme pressure to close the set, but could not capitalize on their opportunity, resulting in McMaster tying it 24-24. Both teams could not end the match and extended the advantage. After a stellar serve from Stephen Maar, the Varsity Blues return allowed for an easy bury by Tyson Alexander.
The Marauders swept the match and won the set 32-30. McMaster’s setter Austin Campion-Smith was named the Big Mac Player of the game with 28 assists. On Saturday night the Marauders faced the Ryerson Rams, a team that threatened to end the Marauders ten game win streak by pushing the match to five sets.
The game ended off with McMaster on top, but the win did not come easily. The Marauders got to a lead early in the first set, and led 16-12 heading into the technical timeout. After a series of crucial mistakes from the Rams, the Marauders got lucky, and got to a 7-point lead. McMaster won the set quite easily, 25-18. In the second set, both teams were evenly matched. The Marauders had a one point lead before the technical timeout, but after the break the Rams pulled it together and mostly due to their blocking efforts, came back with a lead of 23-21.
The set was sent into extra points, and after an ace from Jayson McArthy, the Marauders closed the set 28-26. The third set saw an amazing blocking effort for the Rams’ Aleksa Miladinovic, who helped his team get to a lead of 4 points over McMaster heading into the technical timeout. After the break the Rams kept the momentum going by getting up to a 7 point lead. Some critical mistakes from the Marauders led to the Rams winning the set, 25-17. In the fourth set, the Rams proved that they could compete with the dominant McMaster team, and got to an early lead of 6-4.
Throughout the set the leaders alternated, and by the end the Rams were winning 24-22. The Rams won the set soon after the Marauders serve hit the net. The fifth set was shortened, and after the Marauders scored three points early, the Rams called a timeout. The Marauders kept the lead by playing cautiously and strategically, and their lead eventually got to seven points.
McMaster won the set 14-7 after an ace from Dany Demyanko. Next up for the Marauders is a trip to Waterloo and Guelph, where the Marauders will face the Warriors – their OUA rivals and second place team in the province – and the Guelph Gryphons, who will attempt to bring the Marauders eleventh game-winning streak to a halt.