Finding themselves in a two-set deficit, the McMaster Marauders dug deep and rebounded to defeat the Lakehead Thunderwolves, 3-2, in Thunder Bay and move to 3-1 on the season in Ontario University Athletics women’s volleyball Friday (Oct. 31).
Set scores were 24-26, 20-25, 25-15, 25-23, 15-6, as Mac returned to the win column after suffering their first loss of the season in Ottawa a week ago.
Middle Maicee Sorensen paced the Marauders offence, leading her team with 15 points on 11-for-26 hitting versus three errors, one ace and three blocks. Fellow middle Taylor Brisebois also hit double digit, posting 11 points with 10 kills and a block.
The visitors saw an early 6-0 lead disappear in the opening set when Lakehead battled back to grab control as the teams moved toward the finish line. The Marauders swung momentum once again in the late stages, before Jasmine Fox killed to bring up set point and a double block sealed the first victory.
Lakehead controlled the second set from the get-go, and while McMaster stayed within striking distance, the home side deservedly took a two-set lead when Alicia Jack’s attempt on the slide play went wide and Lakehead’s Kailan Robinson split the block on set point.
With their backs to the wall, the Marauders constructed a positive opening in the third, and forced the Thunderwolves into an early timeout when Sorensen killed on successive points for a 5-1 lead. McMaster built on that lead and coasted to a 10-point win.
Momentum stayed with the Marauders early in the fourth, as McMaster once again built a lead out of the gate, this time forcing a Lakehead timeout at 9-4. But the hosts clawed back into the set slowly, and eventually tied the Marauders at 21, standing just four points from victory.
McMaster rebounded to take a lead when Joanna Jedrzejewska hammered a cross court kill for 23-21, and a service error from Lakehead’s Vanessa Masters brought up set point three points later. The Marauders ended the set there with an ace, forcing a sudden-death fifth.
The trend of quick Marauder starts continued, and was ultimately fatal for the home side in an abbreviated set. McMaster built an 8-1 margin as the teams switched ends, and never looked back from there. After a long rally fell the way of the visitors to bring up match point, a Lakehead attack sailed long to complete the three-set comeback.
The two teams renew hostilities Saturday as they return to the Thunderdome to conclude a weekend doubleheader. That match gets underway at 7:00 p.m. and can be seen live at OUA.tv.