Results of the McMaster Marauders men’s volleyball games are sounding like a phonograph record stuck in a grove, playing the same words over and over.
The Marauders had the turntable out again Saturday night and – guess what? For the eighth consecutive time this season in Ontario University Athletics conference play the Mighty Macs swept their match, on this occasion humbling the Windsor Lancers 25-18, 25-17, 25-15.
Ranked No.1 by Canadian Interuniversity Sport, the Marauders now stand unbeaten after nine outings. The Lancers fall to 1-7.
McMaster will be put to the test next weekend when the Marauders travel to Kingston for an engagement with the Gaels, who have an 8-1 record. That Friday game will be followed by a Saturday match with Royal Military College Palladins, winless in eight attempts.
Saturday, hitting for at a ridiculous rate of 67 per cent efficiency, outside Stephen Maar led the match with 17 kills on 24 attempts versus just a single error, while adding a block and a half. Similarly efficient at 55 and 31 per cent respectively, Andrew Richards and Jayson McCarthy cracked double digits with 11.5 and 10 points.
It was hardly smooth sailing for the Marauders in the opening set, as the hosts struggled to find their offensive rhythm in the early going, and settled for side-out volleyball. But that began to change as the teams approached the technical timeout, and McCarthy gave his team a five-point lead at the break with a cut shot from the right wing.
That lead only grew as the set wore on, and after Maar put his full strength into a kill to bring up set point, his tip two points later brought the first set to a close when a Windsor miscommunication saw the playable ball hit the floor.
Bouncing back well from the loss of the opening set, the Lancers played the Marauders to a neck-and-neck battle for much of the second. But a crucial momentum swing in the late stages saw McMaster pull ahead, after some ill-advised chirping from the Lancer sideline at 14-all. The Marauders embarked on an 11-4 run in the wake of that point, and claimed the set after a fantastic, one-handed set from Andrew Kocur was appropriately dusted off by McCarthy.
Having raced to the finish line in set two, the Marauders continued to pile on the pressure in the third, and enjoyed a seven-point cushion at the technical timeout after an attacking error from Windsor’s Shawn Reaume. There was very little the Lancers could do in the face of an organized and determined Marauder team, and after McCarthy and Alex Elliott combined to bring up match points with a block, the night was ended by another Windsor attacking error, this time courtesy of Andre Khayat.