The Marauder women’s volleyball team carried its fine form of a week ago into its home tournament on Thursday (Oct. 10). McMaster comfortably outplayed the RMC Paladins, while cycling through its roster, en route to a 3-0 victory (25-18, 25-21, 25-17) and a place in Friday’s semi-finals.
The Waterloo Warriors’ win over the Lakehead Thunderwolves earlier in the afternoon means that Waterloo will meet McMaster in Friday’s second semi-final, to be played in the Burridge Gym at 6 p.m. McMaster’s triumph was its sixth-consecutive win in exhibition play, after the team went a perfect 5-0 in winning the Gee-Gees Invitational in Ottawa a week ago.
The Marauders raced out to an early lead on Thursday, and forced the Paladins into a timeout midway through the opening set when RMC trailed, 11-4. The visitors cleaned up their game considerably and pushed back to close the gap, but the hosts still led by three points as they entered the technical timeout. A late surge sealed the set for the Marauders, as they won it 25-18.
A revolving cast of characters featured for McMaster, with head coach Tim Louks intent on allowing most of his players to see the floor. Taylor Brisebois was the early favourite in the middle, and eventually gave way to rookie Maicee Sorensen. Setter Amanda Weldon also started the match before fifth-year transfer Kayla Ng was inserted in the later stages.
The most valuable player of last week’s tournament victory, Lauren Mastroluisi was held off the court until the second set, but made an immediate impact upon her entry. The third-year hitter patrolled the outside to great effect, and converted set point with a kill down the right line as McMaster took the second, 25-21.
The Paladins, much as they had in the first set, closed the distance midway through the third, as the Marauders took only a slim 16-13 lead into the technical timeout. But another efficient spell late on gave McMaster the separation it deserved, and the home side clinched the sweep with a 25-17 victory.