Mac women in perfect form in Florida volleyball

(Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Fraser Caldwell/McMaster Athletics)

Clearwater, FL – With a spotless record through its first three pool play matches, the McMaster Marauders can clinch top spot at the Innisbrook Invitational women’s volleyball tournament with a win over the similarly undefeated Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday (Jan. 3).

After opening the tournament with a victory over the Redeemer Royals from Ancaster, the Marauders downed the Queen’s Gaels in straight sets on New Year’s Eve. Set scores were 25-18, 25-20, 25-14. Rookie outside Joanna Jedrzejewska led the team with 15 kills and 18 points while fellow rookies Maicee Sorensen and Sophie Bukovec added 10 and eight kills respectively.

Coach Tim Louks praised the play of his young players, noting their composure and patience in the victory. Jedrzejewska’s performance was particularly encouraging for Louks.

“I thought (Jedrzejewska) had a great match. She definitely showed her competitiveness.”

After New Year’s Day off, the Marauders returned to action on Thursday and notched a four-set win over the Nipissing Lakers. Set scores were 25-23, 22-25, 25-14, 25-22 for McMaster. Veteran left side Kierstyn Bakker led the Marauders with 13 kills. Jedrzejewska enjoyed another strong performance in adding 10 kills and nine digs, while libero Khira Adams also tallied nine digs.

Louks saw a general improvement in his team’s play on Thursday, and highlighted service as a particular strength of the Marauders. “We continue to improve in many facets of the game. I think our serving was tough and we put (the Lakers) under stress.”

The Gee-Gees will pose a stern test for the Marauders as the teams contest the tournament title. Ottawa has enjoyed a blistering start in Ontario University Athletics and currently sit atop the East Division standings with a record of 11-1. Revenge may be on Ottawa’s mind as the Marauders played the role of spoiler in winning the Gee-Gee’s annual preseason tournament in October.