The McMaster Marauders men’s volleyball squad continued to tear through Ontario University Athletics competition Sunday (Nov. 23), sweeping the Toronto Varsity Blues for their eighth straight victory.
McMaster has now swept seven opponents in nine matches, winning 24 of 25 sets played since the opening match loss to the Western Mustangs. They comfortably hold the top spot in the conference and the No. 2 seed in the country.
The Marauders typically balanced offence yielded three double-digit scorers for McMaster Sunday, as Danny Demyanenko, Jayson McCarthy and Brandon Koppers scored 13, 12 and 12 points respectively. Demyanenko hit 10-15 versus two errors (.533) with three blocks, while McCarthy was 10-21 with two errors, an ace and a solo block. Koppers had 10 kills, an ace and a block, and led McMaster defensively with nine digs.
McMaster put the pedal to the floor immediately, and forced Toronto into an early timeout as they raced out to a 7-2 lead in the first set. Consecutive kills from McCarthy and Demyanenko pushed the teams to the technical timeout with the Marauders holding a four-point lead at 16-12. The teams played side-out volleyball from there, and McMaster brought the opening set to a close when Seyar Karimi entered the match as a service substitution and responded with an ace on set point.
The Blues responded well in the second, and led for much of the set, taking a 16-13 advantage into the technical timeout when Koppers’ appeals for a touch were waved away. But McMaster fought back immediately after the break, and forced Toronto to call timeout when McCarthy killed for 21-18. The Blues pulled within a point, but the Marauders held firm to outlast them en route to a 25-23 win and a 2-0 overall lead.
Losing the second after their strong push seemed to deflate the Blues, who fell off the pace early in the third. Demyanenko put all of his considerable power behind a kill to bring the teams into the technical timeout with McMaster leading 16-8, all but ending Toronto’s hopes of a comeback. Those hopes were dashed for good when Andrew Richards killed to bring up match point, and McCarthy polished off the match two points later.
The Marauders will conclude the first half of their conference season with a trip to Guelph to take on the Gryphons on Saturday (Nov. 29).