The McMaster Marauders strengthened their hold on second place in Ontario University Athletics men’s volleyball with a three-set sweep of the visiting Waterloo Warriors on Friday (Jan.20). Mac won the match, 25-18, 25-12, 25-19, to improve its second-place standing with a 10-2 record.
Setter Austin Campion-Smith (Bowmanville) earned the Big Mac Player of the Game honours for his 27 assists.
In the first set of the match, Waterloo took an early 8-5 lead but McMaster eventually tied the affair 9-9 with an ace from Jori Mantha (Vanier). Tied again at 13, McMaster would take a three-point lead going in to the technical timeout thanks to some tough serves from Tyson Alexander (Shanty Bay).
The Warriors continued to struggle with Alexander’s serve, calling a second timeout at 19-13. The timeout wouldn’t help as McMaster dominated at the net for the rest of the set. A big block fro middle Alex Elliott (Cobourg) would make it 22-15 for McMaster. Two Marauder mistakes would put the Warriors within five but it wouldn’t be enough as Jeremy Groenveld (Welland) would redeem himself with a big kill from the back row. The Marauders would finish off the set 25-18.
McMaster would take an early lead in the second at 5-1. With both teams utilizing their middles, Waterloo would pull within two. The Warriors would continue to make mistakes throughout the beginning of the second and the Marauders would rebuild a four-point lead. By the technical timeout, McMaster had doubled that margin to 16-8.
The Marauders would push through the second set, as the Warriors were unable to stop middles Alexander and Elliott. A kill from Mantha would end the set 25-12 for McMaster.
In the third set, both teams would trade points early on. Waterloo grabbed an 8-6 lead but McMaster fought back with some blocks up front from Alexander. Tying the score at nine, the Marauders assumed the lead with two mistakes from Waterloo hitters. The Warriors tied it at 13 but the Marauders took the lead going in to the technical timeout with a score of 16-14.
Waterloo flirted with McMaster’s two point lead throughout the second half of the third set, but McMaster eventually built the spread to five points with a huge block from Mantha on the outside. Waterloo missed its serve on the final point of the game to close out the match.
Alexander tallied 13 points with seven kills, four aces and two blocks and Mantha and Elliott both added 10 points each in the win. Kevin Stevens (Winnipeg) shared the team-high eight kills with Elliott.
For the Warriors, the Big Mac Player of the Game was Cameron Wheelan (Barrie) with seven kills in the match. Fiodar Kazhamiaka (Waterloo) scored a game-high 13 kills and setting Scott Thomson (St. Mary’s) added 24 assists for the Warriors.
The Marauders take on the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Burridge gym.