Jan 29, 2015
Photo credit Rick Zazulak
Source: Fraser Caldwell, McMaster Communications
They have three matches yet to play, but on Thursday the Marauders ensured their spot in the driver’s seat throughout the OUA playoffs. McMaster clinched the OUA West division with a 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 25-12, 25-17, 15-13) comeback victory over the Guelph Gryphons, and can host the OUA Final Four if they clear the quarterfinal stage in two weeks’ time.
It was a struggle on Thursday as McMaster came up against their nearest competitors in the OUA, a Guelph team that looked hungry for a victory that would shoot them back into contention for the division’s top spot. The Gryphons took the first two sets of the match, but the Marauders battled back to dominate the third, eke out the fourth and outlast the Gryphons in the fifth and deciding set to move their record to 13-3. The win was McMaster’s eighth straight in conference play, and 11th in all competitions.
Joanna Jedrzejewska’s arm should be sore on Friday, as the Marauder outside had a game high of 59 hitting attempts over the course of the five set match, thumping 20 of those to the floor and finishing with a game high of 24.5 points. Fellow outside Lauren Mastroluisi added 12 kills and five aces en route to a total of 18 points, while middle Taylor Brisebois posted a rounded stat line with 10 kills, three aces and four blocks for 17 points.
The two teams played out an exceptionally close opening set, with momentum — and the lead — changing hands several times before its conclusion. McMaster nudged ahead late in the set, and enjoyed set points before Guelph seized the initiative, forced extra points and ultimately stole the first from under McMaster’s nose.
Pushing forward from the success of the first, the Gryphons pressured their hosts from the get-go in the second set, and lead throughout. Although McMaster stayed within striking distance, Guelph was rarely in danger as they remained steady and grabbed a two-set lead, taking the second by a six-point margin.
Backs against the wall, the Marauders found their game in the third set, and began to dominate play as it unfolded. McMaster’s defence began to play havoc with Guelph’s attackers, and the Marauders held the Gryphons to a negative hitting percentage in the third set, with the visitors notching just five kills as a team in the period. It all added up to a convincing set, as the Marauders took it by a 13-point margin.
The fourth was slightly more competitive, but a mid-set run by the Marauders gave them all the distance that they needed to continue their comeback. McMaster kept their collective foot on the gas pedal to race away and knot the match at two sets apiece, taking the fourth 25-17 and forcing the abbreviated decider.
In that fifth and final frame, McMaster got off to a fantastic start, and carried a two-point lead into the changeover at 8-6. They looked like running away with it, before the Gryphons returned fire in the late stages to close within a point at 14-13. But Jedrzejewska provided the final dagger, notching the last of her 20 kills as McMaster won the match and the OUA West.
The Marauders conference season moves one more step toward completion when they travel to Waterloo to take on the Warriors on Saturday, January 31. That match will get underway at 6:00 p.m. and can be seen live on OUA.tv.
|Winnipeg||2||Manitoba||3||Final||Box Score | Recap|
Source: Danielle Doiron, Manitoba Sports Info
WINNIPEG – The University of Manitoba Bison men’s volleyball team defeated their hometown rivals, the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, in five hard-fought sets on Thursday, January 29 at Investors Group Athletic Centre as part of the 24th annual Duckworth Challenge.
The victory gives the Bisons a 12-9 Canada West regular season record. Winnipeg lost their fifth-straight game and now stands at 12-9 over the season.
Bison right side Devren Dear led both teams with 25 kills. Manitoba’s Luke Herr had a match-high 50 assists, while Winnipeg’s Joshua McKay had 49 assists and Tom Douglas-Powell with team-high 24 kills.
“It was always a close game,” said Bison head coach Garth Pischke. “It was a great crowd and a great atmosphere. It’s always a good match, so the win gives us bragging rights in the city for the year, but it’s just good to win matches like that that are so emotional.”
The teams were neck and neck in the opening set, until Manitoba middle Josh Crellin scored on a kill and then on a service ace to help give the home side a 13-8 lead midway through the set. The Bisons almost doubled that lead thanks to well-placed serves from Manitoba co-captain Ken Rooney and solid blocks from Crellin to take the set 25-16.
The Bisons started off strong in the second and took an early 7-3 lead. The Wesmen responded, scoring six points in seven rallies to claim a 9-8 advantage. But Winnipeg couldn’t hold off Manitoba’s hard-hitting offense. Dear found the court with two strong kills to help the Bisons claim the second set 25-16.
Momentum shifted in the third. Instead of scoring on consecutive rallies, the teams went point for point and posted seven tie scores before the technical timeout. The visitors took the lead after Winnipeg’s Taylor Howe served an ace to break a 19-19 tie. Wesmen setter Joshua McKay assisted on two major hits to help Winnipeg win their first set of the game with a score of 25-21.
The tight match continued in the fourth as the teams battled tough rallies for every point. Neither team had more than a two-point advantage any time during the set as the Bisons and Wesmen went back and forth to extended points until Winnipeg clinched the 28-26 set win after two huge kills from Wesmen Douglas-Powell and Matthew Dueck.
The intensity peaked in the fifth set as the teams battled for the win. Both teams’ top hitters pounded the court in the close match, but it was Dear’s hard kill that sealed the 15-13 set victory for the home team.
The teams face off again at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre at 2:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, January 31.
“I want to be at the point where we play our best all the time,” Pischke said. “We’re so close to having the chance to host [the first round of playoffs] that we have to play our best.”
GAME NOTES: The Duckworth Challenge was started in the 1991-92 season by the late Dr. Henry E. Duckworth (president of the University of Winnipeg from 1971-81 and Chancellor of the University of Manitoba from 1986-92) in an effort to profile the intense but friendly cross-town rivalry between the University of Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba.
The University of Manitoba holds an overall Duckworth Challenge record of 12-6-5 with a 57-39 record in all games and a men’s volleyball record of 18-6. The Bisons lead the 24th Challenge 3-0 after winning 3-0 in women’s volleyball earlier Thursday night and 2-0 in women’s soccer on September 13, 2014.
Manitoba setter Luke Herr took home the Duckworth Challenge Player of the Game award for the Bisons. David Bommersbach won the Player of the Game award for the Wesmen.
The final portion of the Duckworth Challenge takes place at the University of Winnipeg on Friday, January 30 when the Bisons take on the Wesmen in women’s basketball at 6 p.m. CST and men’s basketball at 8 p.m. CST.
|UBC Okanagan||1||Mount Royal||3||Final||Box Score | Recap|
Source: Mount Royal Sports Info
CALGARY- The Mount Royal Cougars defeated the UBC Okanagan Heat 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-14, 27-25) on Thursday night at Kenyon Court. Jordan Parkin and Tyler Schmidt led the way with 18 and 15 kills respectively for the Cougars.
The Heat dominated the first set, at one point they lead 17-5 over the Cougars. The Cougars managed a six point run, but that just wasn’t enough. The set ended when a Cougars’ strike landed out of bounds. UBC Okanagan won the first set 25-18.
The second started off slow, as neither team seemed to want to get out in front. Tied 12-12 the Cougars began to pull away, taking small effective runs to get themselves back in the match. The Heat managed to stay close but the Cougars finally closed them out winning 25-22.
Early in the third set, the Cougars put together a strong 12-point run, to go up 14-4. Mount Royal just kept it coming and their dominance was beginning to overwhelm the Heat. Jordan Parkin finished off the third set with a spike right down main street giving the Cougars a 25-14 set win.
The fourth set remained relatively quiet until the score was knotted at 17-17. Exciting rallies going back and forth, showed the heart of both teams. At 23-23 Tyler Schmidt made a phenomenal dig on a point that the Cougars eventually won. Mount Royal kept the momentum of that point and eventually finished off the Heat, winning the set 27-25.
Jim Bell led UBC Okanagan with 14 kills and 6 digs on the night. His teammate Lars Bornemann had 9 kills and 8 digs in the four set match.
With the win Mount Royal improves to 10-11 and sit just one win out of a playoff spot. UBC-O drops down to 6-12 and are officially eliminated from playoff contention.
The Cougars and Heat will return to action tomorrow night back at Kenyon Court for the second game of their series at 6:30 pm on Kenyon Court.