The McMaster Marauders Pita Pit Athletes of the Week are Sophie Bukovec and Danny Demyanenko of the Ontario University Athletics title-winning Marauder volleyball teams.
McMaster added another chapter to its men’s volleyball dynasty this past weekend and Demyanenko was a key part of that achievement. The second-year middle hitter was quiet on Friday (Feb. 21) as the Marauders easily swept the Ryerson Rams in an OUA semi-final, but was an efficient 5-for-6 hitting and finished with three block assists and 7.5 total points.
In Saturday’s final rematch with the Western Mustangs, Demyanenko showed his quality. The 2013 Canadian Interuniversity Sport Rookie of the Year, recently named a Second Team OUA All-Star, terrorized the Mustangs through the middle as the Marauders sealed the conference title over four sets.
Demyanenko ended the night with 16.5 points on 11-for-17 hitting with no errors (64.7 per cent), an ace and four and a half total blocks. He was named as McMaster’s Player of the Game for the championship match, as the Marauders claimed their fifth OUA title in seven years.
McMaster is seeded second in the CIS championship tournament which begins on Thursday (Feb. 27 in Calgary.
After a stellar first season in which she earned OUA First Team All-Star status, Bukovec saved her best performance for the biggest stage. The Marauder outside hitter was the clear-cut star as her team stormed to a surprise OUA title on Sunday and earned a berth in the CIS final in Regina.
McMaster opened the Final Four with a semi-final against the host Toronto Varsity Blues, and Bukovec exploded for 32 points while converting 30 of 65 hitting attempts versus seven errors (35.4 per cent), as the Marauders upset the top-ranked team in the conference on their home court over the course of four sets. She continued her dominance in Sunday’s OUA final, leading all scorers with 19 points on 14-38 hitting with five errors (23.7 per cent), three aces and two solo blocks, as McMaster swept the Ottawa Gee Gees to claim the second title in program history.
For her efforts, Bukovec was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the Final Four. The Marauders’ Cinderella weekend saw them seeded fifth for the CIS championship tournament, beginning Friday.