At times it was a struggle, but the McMaster women’s volleyball team was able to outlast the visiting Waterloo Warriors and claim a straight set win in Ontario University Athletics action Friday night (Nov. 29) in Hamilton.
The first set saw the Warriors open a 14-11 lead before McMaster rallied to tie the score at 15-15. Coming out of the technical timeout, the Marauders grabbed the momentum and opened up a small gap that they rode all the way to set point at 24-21. However, Waterloo refused to fold and forced the set to extra points to decide a winner. Waterloo had three winning opportunities, but McMaster responded each time to knot the score. Finally with the Maroon leading 30-29, Waterloo made an error on the attack and gave up the decisive point to put McMaster ahead in the match.
Now trailing by a set the Warriors came out in the second and grabbed a quick 8-2 lead. The Marauders started to chip away at the deficit and tied the match 11-11 before taking a 16-12 lead at the technical timeout. McMaster maintained the advantage through the rest of the set to win 25-21 and take a commanding lead in the match.
Looking like it was ready to end the match McMaster started the third set quickly and grabbed an 8-3 lead that forced a Warrior timeout. It was now Waterloo that rallied, coming back to take the lead 13-12.
The Marauders held a 16-15 advantage at the technical timeout, but came out of the break with three straight points to lead 19-15. Waterloo could only get as close as 20-17 before McMaster closed out the set 25-18 to win the match.
The Marauders were led by Sophie Bukovec with 13 points, followed by Maicee Sorensen with 11 and Lauren Mastroluisi with 10. The BIG MAC player of the game for McMaster was setter Kayla Ng, who didn’t start the match but came on as a sub and got the Marauder offense in gear, especially in the crucial third set. She finished with 14 assists but it was her steadying influence that made a big impact.