The McMaster Marauders have missed the Canadian Interuniversity Sports women’s volleyball consolation final after dropping a five-set match to the No. 5 St. Mary’s Huskies on Saturday (March 3).
While the Marauders threatened several times, including taking the first two sets, the Huskies fought back with three straight wins for the 24-26, 14-25, 25-9, 25-21, 15-7 victory to eliminate McMaster at the Burridge Gym. For the Huskies, it will be their first-ever appearance in the consolation final.
Saint Mary’s has never finished higher than seventh place at the CIS championship and Saturday’s win guarantees them a finish no less than sixth place. The Huskies have finished tied for seventh in their six previous appearances, including their last in 2010.
The Marauders’ loss leaves them in seventh place.
Kerri Smit’s 24.5 points earned her Player of the Game honours for the second straight day. The fifth-year left side hitter has tallied 52.5 points in two games to lead the tournament.
The Huskies rebounded after a tough five set loss to the McGill Martlets in the opening game.
The Huskies will face the No. 6 Trinity Western Spartans for the 5th place match at 11 a.m.
For the Marauders, left-side Kailee Stock of Newmarket tallied a team-high 15 kills. Libero Meagan Nederveen had a game-high 22 digs in McMaster’s last game of the season. Shannon McRobert was named Player of the Game for her 8 kills, 4.5 blocks and 2 aces.
“I thought we fought hard and I’m so proud of my team,” said McRobert. “Sometimes it just doesn’t go the way you want. We started out strong and it doesn’t matter what the outcome was; it just didn’t go our way in the end. This was a good learning experience for us and I’m proud of our team regardless.”
The home team started the match off strong with a 5-1 lead, but the Huskies would find a way to tie it up at 10. From there, St. Mary’s would hold a slight two point lead to the technical timeout. Later in the set, the lead would change a number of times with both teams fighting hard both at the net and on defence. The Huskies would go ahead 24-23, but it would take a 3-0 run by the Marauders to close out the first set 26-24 for the win.
The second set saw the Marauders take it to the Huskies. With a 7-0 streak early in the first thanks to a serving run from Marauder Shannon McRobert of Whitby, Ont., McMaster was able to build up a nine point lead at 18-9. They would finish off the set strong, able to pick up balls from a number of places on the court to go ahead 2-0 in the match with a 25-14 win.
St. Mary’s was able to get revenge on the home team in the third set. Allowing McMaster to score just nine points, fifth-year Smit of Shubenacadie, N.S. extended her points tally to 16 with kills and blocks from the left side. The Huskies cruised past the Marauders in the third with a score of 25-9.
The match continued to be a rollercoaster as the Huskies took off early on with an 11-2 lead. The Marauders wouldn’t start to mount a comeback until late in the set. Down 22-17, McMaster would go on a 4-0 run to get within one. St. Mary’s would pull out the win at 25-21 though, forcing a fifth set for the second time of their Championship run.
In the fifth and final match, the Huskies came out on fire. A serving streak of six points from right-side Ariel Smith of Yarmouth, N.S. helped the No. 5 Huskies earn a nine point lead and from there, the Huskies would oust the Marauders with a score of 15-7.