By: Laura Sinclair

The Marauders men’s volleyball team had an eventful weekend hosting the Guelph Gryphons on the evening of Friday, Nov. 16 and the Waterloo Warriors on the following Sunday afternoon. The Marauders came out of both games victorious, but the victories did not come easily.

In the Friday night game, the Gryphons got off to an early lead. The Marauders quickly retaliated, jumping out in front with the help of some strong serves from Jayson McCarthy, who had two aces in a row. More key points for the Marauders were scored from Tyson Alexander who had three straight blocks. The Marauders won the set 25-22.

In the second set of the game, just when it looked like the Marauders were pulling away, the Gryphons took the lead. After the Gryphons team constantly hit the ball out of bounds, the Marauders pulled away and ended up winning the set 25-19.

In the third set, the Marauders got up to a 9 point lead. The Gryphons eventually surrendered, with the score being 25-16 for Mac. The star of the game was McCarthy, who scored nine kills.

Despite the glory of remaining undefeated, Marauders head coach Dave Preston is not satisfied with just a win.

“Right now, our game isn’t based on wins and losses, our game is based on our performance standard of our serving and passing and qualifications within our statistics,” said Mac’s bench boss.

Preston has high expectations and goals for his team that he believes have not been reached. “We’re not meeting them all yet, so I don’t really have to say too much to the guys; the numbers will speak for themselves.”

The intensity was high at the Sunday afternoon game against the Waterloo Warriors, as both teams were 6-0 coming into the game. The first set of the game was dominated by the Warriors early on, until the Marauders got their act together and returned blocks to get on the score board. The teams were very evenly matched, as the lead kept switching.

After a time out called by Waterloo, the Marauders kept their lead, but this would not last long as Waterloo came back to tie it up. After some out-of-bounds hits by the Marauders, Waterloo got to a lead of 23-22. The Marauders tied the score, and managed to hang on to win the first set 25-23.

The second set saw a quality effort from both teams, with the players diving all over the court to keep the ball in play. The Marauders got off to the first lead, which never got higher than six points throughout the set. Waterloo narrowed the lead to two points, and after an long rally between the two teams, Waterloo got to their first lead of the set, 19-18. The Warriors kept their momentum against the persistent McMaster squad. Warriors won the second set 29-27, giving the Marauders their first lost set of the season.

The third set started off with a rally of almost a minute between the two teams, with the outcome of the point going to Mac. The Marauders continued to dominate the majority of the set, winning it 25-14.

The fourth set was dominated by the Marauders early on, as they got to a lead of six points over Waterloo. The Warriors came back to lead after an unsuspected comeback to make the score 14-13. Their lead would never get to be more than two points. After a time-out from the Marauders got ahead again, winning 25-23. The leading scorer of the game was McCarthy, with 16 kills followed by Mantha and Alexander with 10 kills. The player of the game was Austin Campion-Smith, who had 46 assists.

Coach Preston was happy about the experience gained for the Marauders in this exciting game.

“We want to make sure that teams play great against us, so that we can play great, and Waterloo did today so I was pretty happy about that,” Preston commented.

Next up for the Marauders is a trip to London to take on the Western Mustangs and Windsor to take on the Lancers in the attempt to remain the number one team in the OUA.

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