LONDON, Ont. – The McMaster Marauders were crowned the newest OUA Champions on Saturday night at Alumni Hall, taking down the Western Mustangs in their own gymnasium.
In the first set, the McMaster Marauders outplayed the Western Mustangs winning it 25-17. They maintained a three-point lead at each technical timeout despite six kills from Western’s Mathieu Poulin.
The second set was much of the same. The Mustangs had an early lead, but could not hold on and the Marauders led 8-7 at the first technical. It was neck and neck to the second technical when the Marauders pulled ahead for good on a kill from OUA Final Four MVP Tyler Santoni.
By the third set, Western was down two sets and determined to come out with a win. They had a four-point advantage at the first technical, but McMaster came back to tie it at 15. Reid Halpenny came up with two solid serves followed by Phil James’ hard cross-court kill. Western then looked to have the motivation they needed and wrapped up the set 25-18.
The fourth set was extremely tight, but McMaster came away with a 25-22. Both teams went point for point for the first half with McMaster pulling ahead just before the second technical. Western would not be able to come back from the deficit and the Marauders won their third OUA Championship in four years.
Santoni and Jori Mantha both had 11 kills in the match for the Marauders. Libero Josh Lichty finished the game with 18 digs.
Poulin led the Western attack with 13 kills, followed by rookie Garrett May and James with 11 and nine respectively. Mathew Waite and Halpenny each had five kills. Western had a total of 116 attacks.
Players of the game were Poulin for Western and Santoni for McMaster.
The McMaster Marauders advance to the CIS Championships being held at Trinity Western University in British Columbia from March 4 – 6.