The McMaster men’s volleyball team bounced back from its first Ontario University Athletics loss on Friday to defeat the Guelph Gryphons, 3-0, Sunday (Jan. 26) in Hamilton.
It was a surly group of Marauders who took to the court against Guelph, coming off the loss at Waterloo, and they took it out on the Gryphons in the opening set. McMaster jumped in front 16-5, forcing Guelph to use its two timeouts before even reaching the technical break. The Marauders continued to push hard and won the set 25-13.
Playing without injured regulars Jayson McCarthy and Alex Elliott, the Marauders stepped up as a team and got strong performances from Shayne Herbert, Tyson Alexander, and Stephen Maar.
The second set again saw the Maroon leading early, 15-11, but the Gryphons showed some grit and came back to take a 19-18 lead, which was the first advantage Guelph had in the match. McMaster responded quickly and the teams dueled for the rest of the set, until Seyar Karimi’s sensational defensive play set up McMaster to win the set 25-23.
Now leading by two sets, the Marauders worked for the sweep and led the third set 7-4 early. Guelph fought back to take the lead 12-11 before McMaster regained the advantage and led 16-13 at the technical timeout. From there, McMaster stepped on the gas and powered to a 25-16 win and a 3-0 sweep of the match.
It was a very solid effort by McMaster with Jori Mantha leading a balanced attack with 11 kills. Herbert was selected as the BIG MAC player of the game for the Marauders with 10.5 points and several outstanding digs.
Guelph libero Eric Wagner was the Gryphon player of the game.
Through the entire match, Guelph only held the lead on three occasions and never had a lead of more than a single point at any time.
McMaster remains in first-place in the OUA with a 15-1 record and will have to wait to see how its national ranking will be affected by Friday’s loss at Waterloo.