Mohawk captured the first set, but McMaster roared back for a 21-25, 25-13, 25-13, 25-14 victory in an exhibition men’s volleyball match at McMaster on Friday night (Sept. 25).
The Mountaineers, who play in the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association, started confidently against the Marauders, who finished fourth at the Canadian university championship last season. Mohawk assistant coach Matt Schnarr said the team came out with a lot of emotion, but couldn’t sustain it after the first set and the Ontario University Athletics Marauders came out firing in the second game and Mohawk just couldn’t get out of the hole.
McMaster has seven players 6’6” to 6’8” in height and all but one are veterans. Mohawk has one 6’6” player, Mike Douglas, who is a rookie. Schnarr said there’s a reason Mac has been to the OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport championship each year.
“(They’re) a big team, a very experienced team. They have a lot of provincial and junior national players. We knew we had a tough task ahead of us. We came out firing and showed we could play. We got them on their heels a bit, but unfortunately we couldn’t sustain it for the rest of the match.”
Schnarr said a game like this gives the rookies an opportunity to see where Mohawk’s level is. “Taking the first set was a positive step. The rest of the match wasn’t negative, but it showed them emotion can take them a long way. It gives them an idea of where they can play and what they need to work on to get to that level.”
Second year Outside player Mo Sulaiman had 10 kills and one service ace for the Mountaineers. Rookie Middle/Left Side Mitchell Sawatsky, contributed eight kills and one stuff block.
Mohawk didn’t go quietly in the fourth set. With McMaster at match point and the score 24-7, the Mountaineers scored, then Ian Cameron reeled off six straight points on serves, before the Marauders finally closed out the match.
The next action for Mohawk is the Fanshawe Kick Off Tournament in London Oct. 3-4. The team will start OCAA league play Oct. 22 at Sheridan.