In a showdown for first-place in Ontario University Athletics, the McMaster men’s volleyball team remained undefeated by turning back the invading Waterloo Warriors in a tough four-set match on Sunday (Nov. 18).
Both McMaster and Waterloo entered the match with perfect 6-0 records, tied for top spot in OUA play.
The Marauders led most of the way for the first set, until a late Waterloo push gave the Warriors the lead at 23-22. McMaster then bore down and won the last three points to take the set 25-23.
The second set saw the Warriors start slow and trail McMaster 16-11 at the technical timeout. But behind some terrific defense and timely offense, Waterloo fought its way back and eventually took the lead, 22-21. Marauder coach Dave Preston called a timeout to slow down the Warrior surge, and it worked as McMaster went up 24-23 with a chance to win the set.
Refusing to quit, the Warriors rallied and the teams went back and forth until Waterloo captured the second set 29-27. It was the first set the Marauders have lost in OUA play this season.
McMaster stepped up the intensity in the third set, and controlled play en route to a 25-14 win to grab the 2-1 lead in the match.
Set number four looked like McMaster would end the match quickly as the Maroon raced to a 9-3 lead. After a Warrior timeout, the men from Waterloo started to climb back into the set and went ahead 14-13. The teams continued to pace each other and Waterloo led 20-18, when Mac’s Kevin Stevens served five straight points to put his team ahead 23-20.
The Warriors kept coming but McMaster was able to take the set 25-23 and win the match to assume possession of first-place in the OUA.
The BIG MAC player of the game for the Marauders was setter Austin Campion-Smith, who had 46 assists and made several key sets that allowed Mac hitters to score at crucial moments. Jayson McCarthy led the Marauders with 16 kills, while Tyson Alexander and Jori Mantha followed up with 10 kills each.
The Marauders travel next weekend to play the Western Mustangs in London and the Lancers in Windsor before the mid-season exam break and the holidays put the Marauders on hiatus.