By: Alexandra Reilly
The McMaster Women’s Volleyball season came to an abrupt and upsetting end on Feb. 16, as the team played their final game against Ryerson with the Rams home court advantage proving to be an important factor in the Marauders painful defeat.
The Marauders opened the first set on a strong note take an early 5-3 lead as Lauren Scully’s left side block found the floor on the Rams side. The hosting Ryerson Rams would soon find their rhythm and power back to take the lead 9-8. McMaster regained a slim 16-15 lead heading into the technical timeout after McMaster’s Kailee Stock caught the Rams off guard with a deep roll shot. The Marauders would then force a Ryerson timeout as the score sat with the Marauders leading 19-17.
The Marauders found themselves looking strong as a win in the first set was in their reach. The Rams trailed 22-20 before finding consecutive momentum to reel off four consecutive points bringing them back in the game. After a few minor errors from the Marauders the Rams found them selves victorious in the first set with a final score of 25-23.
McMaster’s passing proved to be problematic early in the second set allowing Ryerson to claim five of first six points. McMaster would soon climb back tying the set at 14 a-piece when Shannon McRobert tipped the free ball to the floor.
The Marauders would only gain further momentum coming out the technical timeout as Lauren Mastroluisi’s two aces helped the Marauders gain a 20-16 lead over the Rams. The Marauders continued a consecutive six point run giving them a comfortable lead as the second set drew to a close. Amanda Weldon would then end the set with an ace at the line giving the Marauders the second set with a score of 25-18 and tying the game at 1-1.
McMaster proved to be the sharper team early in the third set, taking an 8-3 lead after some failed attempts to stay in bounds by the Rams. The Marauders front court took over and consecutive aces from Taylor Brisebois gave McMaster a much needed eight-point advantage. McMaster would only stretch their lead into the double digits leaving the Rams frustrated. Ryerson came close reducing the lead to just seven points, but Amanda Weldon would put their chances of a win to rest as she seized an attacking opportunity allowing the Marauders to take the third set 25-16.
With the Rams season in the balance they knew they had to win the set and maintain their composure for the duration of the game. The Rams were able to pull through and come sailing back early in the fourth set. They took a strong 7-2 lead after Mastroluisi’s attempt from the left side rolled just long. Ryerson maintained the upper hand as the teams headed into the technical timeout. The Marauders would shortly power back bringing the score within reach at 20-16 forcing the Rams to call a timeout. Ryerson responded well after the break ending a marathon rally and bringing the score now to 22-18. The Marauders would not be able to power back with enough strength to finish off the Rams as Ryerson would take the fourth set 25-20 bringing the game to a tie.
A fifth set would prove to be the deciding factor of the game and the Marauders future this season.
The hosting Rams took the lead to open the final set with a score of 4-1 before McMaster called a timeout. The Rams would power on carrying a four point lead into the changeover. The lead would only increase for the hosting squad standing at 14-9. An ace would prove to be the deciding factor for the Rams as they came out victorious in the final set, reserving their place in the OUA Final Four.
Despite an early take over from the Marauders, Ryerson was able to find its range and maintain a strong defense throughout securing their comeback and their win in the OUA Quarterfinal match.
Fifth year Marauder Shannon McRobert, playing in her last game for McMaster put up 17 points in the match and converted 12 of her 30 hitting attempts. Kierstyn Bakker added 14 points on 12 of 36 hitting attempts and had a team leading total of 18 digs.
The result moves Ryerson into next weekends OUA Final Four, while the Marauders season came to an abrupt end.
Congratulations go out to the coaches and players of the McMaster Women’s Volleyball team as they conclude their 2012/2013 season.