On the night when the McMaster women’s volleyball team was honouring its senior players, the Marauders fought back from a two-set deficit to defeat the Ottawa Gee-Gees 3-2.
After some pre-game presentations for McMaster’s four grads, Ottawa looked determined to spoil the Ontario University Athletics party. The Gee-Gees got off to a strong start and behind the serving of Kelsie English opened up a 16-5 lead by the technical timeout. The big deficit was too much to overcome and Ottawa won 25-15 to win the opening set.
The match had far more significance for the East Division Gee-Gees, who needed a win to guarantee a home game in the first round of next week’s OUA playoffs, while McMaster was locked into second-place in the West Division regardless of the outcome.
The second set was very similar as Ottawa got ahead early and grew the lead to 19-10 at its biggest. Mac closed to within seven points but could not get any closer and Ottawa closed out the set 25-17 to grab a two set stranglehold on the match.
Not wanting to get swept on home court, a fired up group of Marauders attacked Ottawa early and often in the third set. McMaster was in front 16-7 at the technical timeout and powered through to win the set 25-9. Mac’s Joanna Jedrzejewska provided a spark off the bench and got the Maroon offense in gear.
Trailing in the match but carried by momentum, the Marauders picked up their play in the fourth set, especially on defense. McMaster grabbed the lead and was in front 16-11 at the technical break. Middles Maicee Sorensen and Taylor Brisebois were able to put up an imposing block at the net and Ottawa’s offense struggled. The set ended with Mac winning 25-21 and the match even at two sets each.
For the second straight night the Marauders had to go to a fifth set and they again turned on the jets against their opponent. McMaster led 8-4 when the teams changed sides, and, while Ottawa had a glimmer of hope by getting to within two at 9-7, Marauder Sophie Bukovec got on a serving roll and served out the final six points to give McMaster a 15-7 win and the match.
For McMaster Jedrzejewska led the way with 10 kills and 12.5 total points, and she was named the BIG MAC player of the game. The Marauders got a solid team effort with Sorensen and Brisebois each finishing with 11 points. Ottawa’s player of the game was English, who had a strong match with 15 kills and 19.5 points.