Improvement was needed after an opening-night shock, and improvement is what the McMaster Marauders men’s volleyball team showed in their second game of the Ontario University Athletics season on Saturday (Oct. 18). Set scores were 25-18, 25-21, 25-21.
McMaster lost to Western on Friday night after going up 2-0 in sets.
The Marauders steadied their passing and much of their effort from the service line, and saw out a straight-set victory over the Windsor Lancers at the Burridge Gym to even their record at 1-1.
Jayson McCarthy was the offensive standout for the Marauders, converting 11 of 22 hitting attempts versus two errors (.409) and adding an ace and two blocks for a game-high 14 points. Middle Danny Demyanenko was a positive influence on both sides of the ball, hitting 6-12 versus one error and chipping in four and a half total blocks. Setter Andrew Kocur took over creative duties for the Marauders with Austin Campion-Smith missing for personal reasons, and had 26 assists and a team-high six digs in the win.
Rookie Jake MacNeil was exceptional in shortened duty for the Lancers, coming off the bench in the second set to lead his team with 9 kills and 10.5 total points.
After a shaky opening to Saturday’s game, the Marauders called time with the teams knotted at 10. It worked and McMaster raced ahead on the strength of their outside hitting. In a spotless set without an attacking error, the Marauders took the first by a seven-point margin.
Windsor was aided greatly by the insertion of MacNeil, who was a terror on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Despite their hitting percentage falling drastically as a team, the Marauders escaped the second largely on the strength of a mid-set scoring run. The Lancers made a late push, but it was too little too late.
A number of hitters who had been dormant for the Lancers in the second reappeared in the third, as Gabriel Burlacu and middle Adam Thompson saw more of the ball from setter Andrew Chelladurai. Errors crept up for the Marauders, but they were the cleaner of the two sides in the set, and saw out the sweep as a result.
McMaster remains at the Burridge Gym for another week when they welcome the Ryerson Rams and Toronto Varsity Blues to town on Friday, Oct. 24 and Saturday, Oct. 25 respectively.