Marauders exit women’s volleyball championship empty handed

(Photo: Rob Weitzel/McMaster Athletics)

(Photo: Rob Weitzel/McMaster Athletics)

The Marauders slumped to a second consecutive defeat at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport Women’s Volleyball Championship on Saturday (March 1), falling to the host Regina Cougars in straight sets.

Set scores were 25-18, 25-20 and 25-15 for the Cougars, who comfortably brushed the Marauders aside to book a spot in Sunday’s fifth-place consolation game. Meanwhile, McMaster heads home among the tournament’s bottom two.

Regina star Desiree Ates had a game high of 17.5 points, converting 16 of 32 hitting attempts versus seven errors (28.1 per cent) and adding an ace and a block assist.

Sophie Bukovec led the Marauders with 8.5 points in a losing effort, but was held to a negative hitting percentage with five kills versus six errors. Maicee Sorensen chipped in seven points with four kills, an ace and two blocks.

Things seemed to be looking up for McMaster early in Saturday’s match, as the Marauders won five of the first six points to take an encouraging first-set lead. But the Cougars gradually chipped away at that deficit, and tied the set at 11 with a quick through the middle. Momentum stayed in Regina’s corner, as the hosts shot ahead 16-12 at the technical timeout. That lead only grew as the set approached a conclusion, and after a Marauder service error brought up set point, Ates notched a cross-court kill to close it out.

Regina picked up where it left off in the second, although McMaster was intent to keep things close in the early stages. A combo block on the right side brought the Marauders to within two points at 8-6, but the Cougars struck back immediately. The hosts won eight of the next 12 points to take a comfortable 16-10 lead into the technical timeout. A late surge brought the Marauders within four points, but the Cougars secured a two-set lead when Chelsea Ziolkowski found the deep right corner of the floor with a kill for 25-20.

Facing a huge hill to climb against the home side, the Marauders went quietly in the third. Regina raced ahead, and claimed 12 of the first 16 points of the set to effectively put the third beyond reach. Cougar setter Molly Wade-Cummings put the finishing touch on the result, converting the dump for 25-15 and 3-0.