Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter
By: Jovan Popovic, Contributor
The 2019-2020 McMaster men’s volleyball team kicked off their season on Oct. 5. Currently, the team holds a record of seven wins and one loss. In four of these wins, they managed to sweep the other teams, winning three sets to zero. The team this year looks to be extremely promising and ready to continue to build on their winning history.
McMaster has had an incredibly strong volleyball program for the past few years, with significant credit given to their head coach, Dave Preston. Preston has been McMaster’s head coach since 2002. Over his time with the Marauders, he has led the team to 12 U sports championship games and nine Ontario University Athletics titles, the team also won two silver and four bronze medals at the national championship from 2013-2018. Preston has been awarded the Canadian University Coach of the year for men’s volleyball three times during his tenure with McMaster. He is highly credited for the team’s success over the years, not only because of his ability to guide the team, but also because of his ability to effectively recruit new students.
Over his time with the Marauders, [Preston] has led the team to 12 U sports championship games and nine Ontario University Athletics titles.
Outside of university coaching, Preston has led other teams to success. In 2012, Preston was named the head coach of the junior men’s under 21 national team for the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation Volleyball championship. The NORCECA is a non profit organization that holds volleyball tournaments where 42 nations take part. Preston guided the junior men’s under 21 Canadian team to the finals, where they lost to Cuba.
Coach Preston’s history of success greatly contributes to the men’s volleyball team at Mac. It creates a winning atmosphere that continues to this day.
“Our team culture doesn’t change. That comes from the top, and our coaches are some of the best in the country. They recruit very well, and allow us to become the team that we have been in the past, and to this day,” Delguidice said.
Because of the team’s success in the past and their strong start to the 2019-2020 season, Delguidice noted that they had high expectations for the year ahead.
“I think it’s every team’s goal to compete at the highest level they could achieve, ours is to compete for a gold medal at provincials and further, nationals. These guys know it’s a long process from early September to March, so we’re playing one game at a time,” Delguidice said.
The team is looking forward to another strong season from their players. Based on their hot start to the 2019-2020 season, an OUA championship seems like a plausible finish, which the team is hoping to secure. McMaster is currently first in the OUA West men’s standings and tied with the University of Toronto Blues for the best record in the league. They also hold the longest win streak, at five straight games. Their win streak alone is as many wins as the next placed team in the OUA West, The University of Guelph Gryphons, who sit at second place in the OUA West with five wins.
McMaster is currently first in the OUA West men’s standings and tied with the University of Toronto Blues for the best record in the league.
With coach Preston by their side, the team is in a favourable position to take the OUA title. The men’s volleyball season will span from October through February, followed by playoffs. It will undoubtedly be an exciting team to follow this season.