Jan 29, 2015
Photo credit Mount Royal Athletics
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||0||Manitoba||3||Final||Box Score | Recap|
Source: Danielle Doiron, Manitoba Sports Info
WINNIPEG – The University of Manitoba Bisons, in women’s volleyball, beat their hometown rivals, the University of Winnipeg Wesmen, in three straight sets in front of a packed house at Investors Group Athletic Centre for the volleyball portion of the 24th annual Duckworth Challenge on Thursday, January 29.
With their third-straight win, Manitoba holds on to the seventh and final conference playoff spot with an 11-10 Canada West record. Winnipeg extended their losing streak to two games and now sits at ninth overall with an 8-13 record.
Bison co-captain Rachel Cockrell led both teams with 19 kills, while setter Ellina Domnidou had a team-high 13 digs and 25 assists for the Wesmen in the losing effort.
“There’s always an added bit of electricity to these matches,” said Bisons head coach Ken Bentley. “It was a fantastic crowd and a great playing atmosphere. It’s great for volleyball in this city and it brings that level of intensity up.”
The rivalry game was intense from the opening serve. The teams battled, going point for point until the Bisons broke ahead and scored on three straight kills to take a 16-12 advantage at the technical timeout. Manitoba stretched this lead to ten by winning four consecutive rallies to take the set 25-15.
The second set started just like the first. The teams went back and forth until Bison middle Jordana Milne scored on a kill to set off four straight rally wins for Manitoba. Cockrell had eight kills in the set to help the Bisons claim the second with a score of 25-18.
Momentum shifted in the third, when the Wesmen scored three straight points midway through the set to take a 14-11 lead. Manitoba fought back with strong blocks from Milne to win back the serve. From there, the Bisons took back control of the game as Milne scored on consecutive service aces and Manitoba scored on three straight kills. The home side took the set victory 25-22 and the game 3-0.
“I thought we were very steady in our play and we held firm in the third set,” Bentley said. “Winnipeg was giving us a great push there and I felt we held them back and we were able to get a really big win for us.”
The teams face off again at the University of Winnipeg Duckworth Centre at 1 p.m. CST on Saturday, January 31.
Bentley said the team will stick to the same game plan for Saturday’s match.
“The challenge is to replicate the same level of intensity and not let our guard down. It’s not who you play or where you play, it’s how well you play.”
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 56-39 record in all games and a women’s volleyball record of 18-6. The Bisons lead the 24th Challenge 2-0 after winning 2-0 in women’s soccer on September 13, 2014.
Cockrell won her third Duckworth Challenge Player of the Game award. She also won in the 2010-11 Manitoba victory and the 2012-13 loss to the University of Winnipeg. Libero Tia Boroski took home 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||3||Mount Royal||1||Final||Box Score | Recap|
Source: Mount Royal Sports Info
Calgary, AB- The Mount Royal Cougars lost 3-1(25-21, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22) to the UBC Okanagan Heat on Kenyon Court. Robyn Potolicki led the Cougars with 9 kills and 5 digs, with help from Fallon Middlemiss who had 8 kills and 6 digs.
The first set really picked up halfway through when UBC-O Heat went on a six-point run. The Cougars just couldn’t withstand the Heat in the first set giving the first set victory 25-20 to the Heat.
Late in the set the Cougars scrambled back to 23-20, the closest they had been all set. At 24-20 the Heat’s Katie Wuttunee ended it all killing it right down the middle to take the set 25-20.
It looked like the Heat were going to take it all in the third set, but the Cougars came in ferociously in the third. Taylor Pelland hit a booming smash that was too much for the Heat to handle. The ball carried out of bounds, giving the Cougars the third set 25-21.
UBC Okanagan took an early lead in the fourth set. The Cougars’ comeback effort just was not strong enough on this night. Myrte Schon had the final dagger as the Heat defeated the Cougars 25-22 and took the match 3-1.
The Heat’s Megan Festival put down11 kills and had 7 digs on the night. Her teammate Katy Klomps notched 11 kills and 2 digs.
With the loss MRU falls to 4-17 in the Canada West standings, while UBC-O improve to 17-4 first place in the Canada West standings.
MRU and UBC-O will return tomorrow night back at Kenyon Court for their last battle of the series at 5p.m.