Looking to build on the momentum of consecutive wins, the McMaster Marauders ran into one of the top teams in Ontario University Athletics and saw their progress come to an abrupt halt.
Brandie Wilkerson had a game-high 19 points as the York Lions defeated the Marauders in straight sets Sunday afternoon (Nov. 24), 22-25, 2-25, 12-25.
York improved to 9-1 on the season, keeping pace with the Ottawa Gee-Gees atop OUA East Division standings, while McMaster fell to an even 5-5 with one game remaining before the holiday break.
The Marauders made a game of it in the opening set, and played the nationally-ranked Lions to side-out volleyball until York embarked on a 5-1 run to take a 16-11 lead into the technical timeout. The response was immediate from the visitors, as McMaster reeled off four consecutive points to close the gap to one at 15-16 when York’s Kristen Dillon was called for a double touch.
Momentum took another sharp swing as Wilkerson took to the service line, thumping an ace to push the Lions ahead 19-15. McMaster’s final surge left drew the Marauders to within a point at 22-23 when Carley Flemmer misfired on an attack. But it was too little, too late, as York sealed the set just two points later.
Having survived a scare, the Lions powered to an early 4-1 lead, and held that margin through most of the second set. The Marauders stayed within striking distance, and trailed by only three points at 18-21 when a Taylor Brisebois’s ace was followed by a York miss. But that was as close as McMaster would get, ultimately dropping it on a service error.
The Lions were two sets to the good, and fully intent on a short afternoon. They were ruthless in winning eight of the first 10 points of the third set, and coasted to victory. York’s lead stretched to double digits when Michelle Pierce killed to take the teams into the technical timeout with the Lions ahead 16-6. There was little resistance from the visitors, as York easily raced to the 25-point threshold, and Sheraine Henry killed to secure the result.
McMaster completes the first half of its conference schedule on Friday (Nov. 29), when the Marauders welcome the Waterloo Warriors to the Burridge Gym. That game gets underway at 6 p.m.