McMaster Marauders stretched their Ontario University Athletics men’s volleyball unbeaten streak to 11 matches, after taken a long, five-set battle, 3-2, from the Ryerson Rams.
Jayson McCarthy had 21.5 points for the first place Marauders, converting 17 of 30 hitting attempts. Dany Demyanenko added 17 points, including 14 kills on 19 attempts.
Robert Wojcik led the Rams putting up 18 points and 15 kills.
McMaster celebrates a win over Ryerson. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)
A close beginning to the match saw the Marauders take a 9-6 lead when a serve took a fortunate bounce, rolling limply over the tape and finding the Rams’ side of the floor. Ryerson was often its own worst enemy in the opening set, and a slew of errors helped the Marauders take a 16-12 lead into the technical timeout.
The trend continued after the break, and yet another attack gave McMaster a seven-point lead, 21-14. The deficit was too much for the visitors, and after an ace from McCarthy gave the hosts a set point, Ryerson’s Wojcik fired a jump serve into the bottom of the net to end it 25-18.
The Rams fought back late in the second set, aided in large part by their blocking efforts. Jori Mantha fell into a double block on the left and the Marauders were forced to call time trailing 23-21. McMaster used the timeout well, and sent the set into extra points where McCarthy came up with a clutch spinning ace to take it 28-26.
Ryerson’s blockers once again took the fore in the third, with Aleksa Miladinovic reeling off a string of stuffs to help his team into a 16-12 lead at the technical timeout. The advantage held as the set progressed, and a Stefan Ristic ace gave the Rams a seven-point lead at 22-15. They would polish off the set just points later, when a miscommunication between setter Austin Campion-Smith and middle Alex Elliot led the latter to whiff on an attack at net, giving Ryerson the set 25-17.
The Rams held the early edge again in the fourth, clinching a long rally to move ahead 6-4. But the home side found another level midway through the set, and a Demyanenko kill in the middle propelled McMaster into a 12-10 lead. The back-and-forth set took another turn at the technical, with a Ryerson surge bringing the visitors back into the lead after a well executed double block.
The two teams traded points as the set approached a conclusion, with the Rams gaining separation at 24-22 after a Steven Maar attack rolled wide off the tape. Ryerson levelled the match two points later, when the Marauder serve found the bottom of the net.
Momentum seemed to be entirely on the visitors’ side, but it was the hosts who took the initiative to open the deciding set. McMaster took the first three points of the shortened fifth before Ryerson called time to halt the run. Elliot took the reins as the Marauders raced ahead, bouncing a swing off of the attempted dig for 6-3. The home side’s lead only grew from there, and Campion-Smith’s well-placed dump gave McMaster match point at 14-7. Demyanenko sealed it with an ace, catching the back line in the process.