Marauders return from Ottawa with volleyball gold

The Marauders took a definitive step in their preparation for the 2013 Ontario University Athletics women’s volleyball season this past weekend. McMaster swept aside the competition at its second pre-season tournament of the year, winning all five matches played en route to a gold medal in Ottawa.

(Photo: Michael P. Hall/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Michael P. Hall/McMaster Athletics)

McMaster overcame last year’s Atlantic University Sport runner-up St. Mary’s in a five-set final to take the tournament crown. The Marauders reached that Sunday (Oct. 6) stage by sweeping pool play and dealing a straight-set defeat to OUA rival, the Guelph Gryphons on Saturday.

Third-year outside hitter Lauren Mastroluisi was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, while middle Taylor Brisebois was also included in the tournament All-Star team.

McMaster entered the tournament in the Grey pool, alongside the Brock Badgers, St. Mary’s Huskies and Sherbrooke Vert et Or. The pool format made for best-of-three set matches, and the Marauders made quick work of their opponents in that opening round. The Huskies fell, 2-0, the Badgers, 2-1, and the Vert et Or, 2-0, as the Marauders powered into the Saturday semifinal.

There, McMaster met Guelph, and dispatched them handily in three sets (25-18, 25-19, 25-17) to pave the way to the Sunday final. The Huskies put forth a better effort in the gold-medal rematch, seizing the second and third sets to put the Marauders on the brink of elimination. But McMaster dominated the fourth for a 25-9 blowout, and kept the momentum in the abbreviated fifth set, ending the match, 15-9.

The Marauders return home for their final tune-up event of 2013, as they welcome seven teams to Hamilton for the annual Mizuno-McMaster Thanksgiving Classic, which runs from Thursday to Saturday.