The Marauders fell behind early in each of their three sets, but recovered each time to outpace the Western Mustangs for their first conference win of 2014 in Ontario University Athletics action on Friday night (Jan. 10) in Hamilton.
The first set was a sloppy one for both offences, with the Marauders hitting at just 13.9 per cent and the Mustangs 8.1 in the opener. McMaster endured the negative start, and chipped away at the deficit as setter Kayla Ng began to find her attacking targets.
Middle Taylor Brisebois and rookie outside Sophie Bukovec quickly became the most efficient options, with Western unable to find a blocking combination capable of challenging the middle. McMaster moved to the finish line in the first set fairly comfortably, and had found the formula that would earn it the overall win.
In the second, another slow start saw the Marauders once again fall behind early. But the hosts clawed back to retake the lead at the technical timeout when Bukovec killed for 16-13. Having seized control, McMaster carried the set to its conclusion for a commanding lead.
The same trend held in the third, as another sluggish start put McMaster on the back foot, before its attack switched into gear to take a 16-13 lead into the technical timeout. Western threatened in the late stages, but would never retake the lead as McMaster raced to the sweep.
Brisebois led McMaster – and the match – with 14 points, connecting on 10 of her 18 hitting attempts with two errors while adding two aces and two total blocks. Bukovec added 12.5 points on 11 of 25 hitting with four errors, and added an ace and six digs. Libero Khira Adams was the team’s leading defender with seven digs.
Western’s point lead on Friday was shared by outside Steph Kreuter and middle Candice Scott, who each chipped in nine points. Kreuter’s tally was comprised of 8 kills on 20 attempts with four errors and an ace. Scott, meanwhile, killed eight of her 12 hitting attempts with two errors and added a solo block.
With the win, McMaster (7-5) moved past the Windsor Lancers into second position in the OUA West standings. The Lancers have two games in hand.
The Maurauders will look to solidify their position when they welcome Windsor to Burridge Gym on Sunday (Jan. 12) afternoon at 1 p.m.