CIS men’s volleyball roundup: Marauders beat three ranked opponents, claim tournament title in Florida

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Jan 04, 2015

Source: Fraser Caldwell, McMaster Communications / Photo credit Rick Zazulak

The Marauders faced a difficult holiday schedule in Florida that included three matches against CIS top-ten-ranked opposition. But McMaster made quick work of those opponents en route to four consecutive victories and the tournament title at the 2015 Alden Cup in St. Petersburg.

Ranked second in the country after a run of nine wins to conclude the first half of their conference season, the Marauders entered the holiday break on fantastic form. They opened the Alden Cup with a New Year’s Day contest against the Mount Royal Cougars, who share the CIS no. 9 ranking with the Manitoba Bisons.

McMaster brushed aside Mount Royal in straight sets (25-21, 25-15, 25-19) before doing the same to Manitoba a day later (25-16, 25-20, 25-18). It was smooth sailing for the Marauders until they encountered the Calgary Dinos, who had stumbled through losses to the Guelph Gryphons and Dalhousie Tigers in the first two rounds of the tournament.

Calgary provided a scare for McMaster, becoming the first team to take a set from the Marauders since October. The Dinos raced out a commanding two-set lead before the Marauders pulled off a stunning comeback to win the match 3-2 (20-25, 19-25, 25-23, 25-20, 15-7).

That result set up an intriguing title match between McMaster and the no. 3-ranked Brandon Bobcats on Sunday, January 4. But, as close as the matchup would appear to be on paper, the reality in St. Petersburg was lopsided, as McMaster ran away with a win in straight sets to take top spot at the tournament (25-18, 25-18, 25-23).

Prime Minister Harper (centre) with the Marauders in St. Petersburg, Florida.

In addition to a tournament victory and a stint in the sun and sand, the Marauders had the pleasure of meeting Prime Minister Stephen Harper in St. Petersburg, whose son Ben plays for the Queen’s Gaels.

McMaster returns to conference play on Saturday, when they look to even the season series against the Western Mustangs — the only team to beat the Marauders thus far — in London.

RESULTS

Day 1 – January 1
McMaster 3-0 Mount Royal
Manitoba 3-0 Queen’s
Brandon 3-1 Dalhousie
Guelph 3-0 Calgary

Day 2 – January 2
Brandon 3-0 Guelph
McMaster 3-0 Manitoba
Queen’s 3-2 Mount Royal
Dalhousie 3-0 Calgary

Day 3 – January 3
Dalhousie 3-0 Mount Royal
Manitoba 3-1 Guelph
McMaster 3-2 Calgary
Brandon 3-0 Queen’s

Day 4 – January 4
Calgary 3-1 Queen’s
Dalhousie 3-2 Manitoba
Guelph 3-1 Mount Royal
McMaster 3-0 Brandon

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