Courtesy of Laval University sports information office
Quebec City (CIS) – The third-seeded McMaster Marauders reached the semifinals of the CIS men’s volleyball championship with a 3-0 win over the #6 UNB Varsity Reds Friday afternoon in Quebec City in the first quarter-final game of the tournament.
UNB was able to stay within reach of McMaster in the first set, but the OUA champions gave no chance to their opponents thereafter, winning by scores of 25-23, 25-17 and 25-14 in just over an hour.
“We settled into the match in the second set. Since we were unfamiliar with the opponent, we were not really sure what the match was going to give us. Once we started to settle down, we stuck a bit more to what we do on a regular basis,” analysed McMaster coach Dave Preston.
“We applied some decent serving pressure and we made some critical defensive plays at critical times,” added the CIS coach of the year.
“McMaster played very well in the first and we played point to point. In the second set, we had a bit of a low where we couldn’t pass the ball for another rotation and that got into our heads a little bit,” said UNB head coach Dan McMorran.
“Our setter and our right side players are both young guys. Once your reception isn’t going so well, it’s a tough day against a team like McMaster,” he continued.
Both teams battled hard in the first set. Neither McMaster nor UNB were able to maintain an advantage of more than two points before the technical pause. The Varsity Reds were then ahead at 16-15. McMaster had a nice run after the break, taking the lead at 21-18, but UNB didn’t let the OUA champions escape, tying the mark at 22-22. Thanks to a couple of powerful kills, including some from Vanier, Ont. native Jori Mantha, McMaster snatched the set 25-23.
The Marauders kept the momentum on their side in the second set. Initially very tight, the race quickly turned to the advantage of McMaster. With the score at 6-6, the championship third seed scored seven of the following eight points. Midway in the set, UNB was trailing 16-10. The six-point deficit seemed to weigh heavily on the Atlantic champions, who failed to recover. The Marauders, led by a few kills from Tyson Alexander (Shanty Bay, Ontario), completed the work, winning the set 25-17 and taking a 2-0 lead in the match.
The third set started just like the second one. Both teams exchanged points to start, but at one point, McMaster piled up seven of eight points, taking a commanding lead of 16-8 at the technical timeout. The comeback never happened, and the Marauders had no trouble nailing the third set by a score of 25-14 and securing the win.
Middle Tyson Alexander was named player of the game for the Marauders, while outside hitter Marc White received the same honour for the V-Reds.
McMaster will be in action Saturday evening at 6:00 pm EST against the winner of the clash between Western (#7) and Trinity Western (#2). The loser of this match will play UNB in the first consolation semifinal Saturday at 12:30 pm EST.
Championship website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/championships/mvball/index