Marauders back in seventh in women’s volleyball

vball_macpink-13McMaster rebounded from a third set loss, crushing the Western Mustangs 25-8 in the fourth to take a 3-1 match in Ontario University Athletics women’s volleyball play on Friday night (Jan. 26) at the Burridge Gym.

Set scores were 25-15, 25-19, 22-25 and 25-8 as the Marauders evened their conference record at 7-7 and retook seventh place in the OUA from the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

The loss drops the Mustangs to 8-6 on the season.

Kierstyn Bakker led the Marauders with 19 points in the win, converting 13 of 23 hitting attempts with only two errors. Shannon McRobert added 17.5 points and 10 kills, while Kailee Stock had 13.5 points and eight kills.

Veteran libero Meagan Nederveen was named McMaster’s Big Mac Player of the Game after a 14-dig performance that saw her commit only a single reception error.

Stephanie Kreuter had 14 points and 13 kills to lead the Mustangs in a losing effort, while fellow veteran hitter Rebecca Oxland chipped in 13 and nine respectively.

The match started evenly, but a run of inspired play from the Marauders gave the hosts a three-point lead at 11-8, after Lauren Skelly followed a Bakker ace with a block that graced the left side line.

McMaster reeled off another series of points when Taylor Brisebois took to the service line, entering the technical timeout in the first set with a 16-10 lead when the middle powered an ace into the Western backcourt.

The hosts carried that momentum well as the set progressed, and led by eight after McRobert converted a quick through the middle to end an extended rally for 21-13. McRobert was both lucky and good in the first, and brought the Marauders to set point with a tape ace for 24-15.

Brisebois ended the first a point later, producing a solo block in the middle to seal a dominant first for the hosts by a score of 25-15.

The Marauders took another lead early in the second, as Bakker tooled the block from the left to give McMaster a 9-6 advantage. Play tightened as the teams approached the technical, but the hosts carried a two-point lead into the technical after a Mustang attack drifted wide of the left line.

McMaster opened its lead after the break, and brought itself to a set point at 24-19 after a Lauren Mastroluisi kill from the left was followed by a double block. Another double block sealed the set for the Marauders and gave them a comfortable two-set lead on the very next point.

The Mustangs pushed back early in the third, and took their first lead of the match at 11-10, before a Marauder combo block returned the tie. But Western was clearly on the rise, and the visitors retook the lead into the technical timeout despite an impressive scramble by the Marauders at 15-12.

The home side came within a point as the set came to a close, but Western grabbed the decided point for 25-22 after a broken play resulted in a Mustang tip to open space.

McMaster got off to the best possible start in the fourth, riding the consistent serving of Bakker to win the first six points of the set. The Marauders kept the pressure on, and when Amanda Weldon found the floor in the centre of court with the well-chosen dump, McMaster took a 10-3 lead.

Western could do nothing right, and blew an overpass wide of the mark to bring the teams into the fourth set technical with McMaster leading 16-4. The hosts saw their rout to its conclusion, ending the set and the match by a dominant 17-point margin when McRobert and Stock combined on the block.