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12 Marauders saw court action in their straight set victory at Windsor last Friday night; 11 of them played two or more sets. Against Western the following night Mac lost its first set in two weeks.

The reason can be attributed to McMaster’s service errors.

McMaster committed an uncharacteristic 27 service errors against Western.

“We gave them over a set’s worth of points in service errors. When you make 27 serving errors in a match, you give your opponent a set. The worst part of that for me is that those points are a two-point swing,” said Preston. “27 serving errors is a 54-point swing because it’s the point they get and the point we don’t. It was uncharacteristic of us.”

When you think about it in those terms, Preston is theoretically correct. Those are 27 “possessions” being given away with significant penalty. In sports like basketball and soccer, turning the ball over doesn’t necessarily equate to a point. In volleyball, however, a service error automatically results in a point for the other team.

The giveaway has greater consequences. Service errors give opponents points without them really having to work for anything.

“I don’t think we were sharp. It was probably our worst serving match of the year. We grinded it out and got the win, but we didn’t play at a very high level,” said Preston.

“We didn’t have our best, but I think we made the best of what we had. We clawed and scraped and scratched away a win, but we didn’t do it the way we wanted to do it.”

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Serving poorly dug this team into a hole at Ohio State and they fought back.

They faced a similar dilemma at Western and they fought back again.

“When we lost that third set at Western we had chances to give up and find a whole bunch of excuses,” Preston said. “Instead, we found some solutions.”

It also helps to have a deep rotation of 10-11 guys that can produce at a relatively high level.

“Our depth and talent allowed us to claw out a win on the road. That’s a good thing. I don’t want to have to rely on it all year, but it’s nice to know we can claw out a win sometimes when we aren’t at our best,” Preston said.

“It was probably our worse serving match of the year. We grinded it out and got the win, but we didn’t play at a very high level.”

McMaster has a bye this week and will use the week to address the issues revealed at Western, namely on the defensive side of the ball.

The Marauders’ next match is on Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. at Burridge Gym against the Ryerson Rams.

Photo Credit: Alistar Boulby

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