Volleyball Marauders eager for ‘great chance’

McMasterThe old adage that to be the best, you have to beat the best is one which Coach Dave Preston and the McMaster men’s volleyball team are taking to heart.

McMaster will open its 2010-11 non-conference season by hosting the defending Canadian Interuniversity Sport champions, the Calgary Dinos, Oct. 8 and 9 at the Burridge Gym. Both games will start at 6 p.m.

Preston is excited to be hosting the national champions. “Any time we have the opportunity to play Calgary we want to take advantage of it. To play Calgary at home, twice, when they are the defending national champions is a great chance for our group to measure up to what we aspire to be…Champions!”

As the sixth-seeded team, Calgary captured last year’s CIS crown by defeating Dalhousie, Alberta, and Trinity Western. It was the fourth national title in men’s volleyball for the Dinos.

McMaster will be viewing the matches with the national champs as the first steps in a journey that leads back to the CIS tournament next March at Trinity Western.

The Marauders dominated Ontario University Athletics last season only to be upset on home court by the Guelph Gryphons in the semi-finals.

With a solid core of returning players and a few ready to assume bigger roles, the 2010-11 McMaster squad is guaranteed to be among the top OUA contenders and playing Calgary to start the year is a great way to get the excitement underway.

“We are in a good place right now as a group. We are motivated, we are talented and we are committed to improving. What we need to become is a better team,” said Preston, who is starting his ninth season at McMaster.

“Opportunities to play the best teams in the country will give us a chance to take another step toward transforming this good group into a great team. Calgary will expose us, challenge us and put us in a place where we have to respond the way good teams do when they are faced with those situations. That’s why we play these matches. That’s why we put ourselves in these situations. We are really looking forward to the experience.”