Volleyball Marauders take down the net

The McMaster women’s volleyball team’s season came to a close on Saturday (Feb. 18) when the visiting Toronto Varsity Blues left town with a 27-25, 25-21, 25-18 Ontario University Athletics quarter-final win.

In the opening match’s early going, the Marauders took control with kills from middles Shannon McRobert and Taylor Brisebois and the home team found itself up by five – 11-6 – forcing Toronto to call its first timeout of the match.

Coming off the timeout, Toronto got within one at 12-11, and then tied the set back up at 13. With the Blues utilizing a number of players on the court for offence, and McMaster’s serve receive struggling, Toronto would manage to take the lead at the technical timeout at 16-14.

McMaster was unable to generate some offence after the timeout and Toronto would extend its lead to three at 18-15, forcing McMaster to call their first timeout of the match. The Marauders would then string together a kill, a block and an ace to get back within one.

A number of mistakes would not help McMaster’s comeback effort, as the Blues once again capitalized to make the score 22-18. Without giving up, McMaster would come back to tie it at 22 thanks to come big swings from the front row and nice serves from Brisebois.

Both teams would take it to extra points, trading leads until Toronto was able to overcome the Marauders at 27-25 to take the first set win.

In the second set, both teams proved equally matched with the score continuously tied all the way up until 11. Toronto would earn the first decent lead of the match at 14-11, in part due to some Marauder mistakes on defence. McMaster would head into the technical timeout down 16-12.

The Marauders pushed to get closer to Toronto’s four point lead, and it would take until 19-17 to do it, thanks to some kills from Kailee Stock. The Blues were tested by the Marauders several times near the end of the set, but would pull off the win by a score of 25-21 to go up 2-0 in the match.

The third match started off with both teams trading kills from the middles. But some McMaster mistakes put them in the hole by three, at 6-3, forcing a timeout. Things didn’t get any better from there for the Marauders. Toronto connected for a huge block on the left side, and would use a block for a point later on. With the Blues forcing mistakes from the Marauders, McMaster would find themselves down 13-6.

After another timeout called by McMaster, the Marauders would get back in it with two kills from McRobert in the middle, followed by an ace from rookie Lauren Mastroluisi. It wouldn’t be enough though as the Marauders would head into the technical timeout, down 16-10.

Despite making a final push near the end of the set, but it wouldn’t be enough to overtake Toronto’s large lead. The Blues would win the final set 25-18 and advance to the OUA semifinals with the three-set win.

Kailee Stock had a team-high 13 points for the Marauders and another 14 digs. Rookie Lauren Mastoluisi was the only other Marauder to hit double-digits with 10 points on the night. Middles Taylor Brisebois and Shannon McRobert each had nine points and setter Amanda Weldon added 34 assists.

For Toronto, Charlotte Sider had a game-high 14 points and 14 digs and Denise Woodling had 10 more for the Blues.

The Marauders will host and compete at the CIS Women’s Volleyball Championships through March 2-4 and will play at 8:00 p.m. on March 2nd to start off the tournament.