Feb 26, 2015
Courtesy of Matt Packwood, Brandon University Sports Information / Photo credit Josh Schaefer Photography
SASKATOON (CIS) – Despite a valiant effort from the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the No. 1 seeded McMaster University Marauders lived up to their top rank, beating the host 3-0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-18) Thursday night in front of a near sellout crowd of 2,223 at the 2015 CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship.
McMaster, who are in search of its first-ever CIS title, move one step closer with the win, setting up a semifinal showdown Friday between McMaster and the No. 4 seed Trinity Western Spartans at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon at 8 p.m. (CST). McMaster lost in the 2014 final to the Alberta Golden Bears.
“This was a fantastic environment for the student-athletes to play in,” said Marauders head coach Dave Preston of the crowd of 2,223 at the PAC. “It came down to one position, two position points and we came through.”
Hosting for the first time since 1980, the Huskies were hoping to return to national prominence. The last time Saskatchewan captured a national championship was in 2004. Saskatchewan will drop to the consolation semifinal to face the Quebec-champion Laval Rouge et Or, who lost in three sets to the Trinity Western Spartans earlier.
“They are a pretty good team and ranked No. 1,” said Huskie head coach Brian Gavlas. “It’s a national championship and now we are going to do our best to finish as best as we can.”
Playing in front of a raucous home crowd, the No. 8 seeded Huskies came out on par with the Marauders, trading blows early until McMaster went on a 5-1 run to get the first lead of the match at 8-3. The Huskies hung around, eventually tying the set at 24-24. All-Canadian Danny Demyanenko answered with back-to-back kills, giving McMaster a 26-24 set win.
The second set started as close as the first. The Huskies earned their first lead of the frame on a massive kill by Tyler Epp to lead 9-8. McMaster answered back, slowly extending their lead point-by-point before blowing it open, ending the set on a 5-1 run for the 25-20 win.
The third set saw Saskatchewan get their largest set lead at 10-8, but McMaster answered back with four straight points, forcing the Huskies to take a timeout. The lead wouldn’t be relinquished, as the Marauders ended the set and match on a kill by Jori Mantha at 25-18.
The Huskies managed to put up only one total block, while McMaster hit a dazzling .419 as a team.
Demyanenko had another All-Canadian caliber performance, leading his team in kills (11), blocks (1 solo, 4 assisted), points (16), and aces (2).
Outside hitters Jordan Nowakowski, Paul Thomson and middle hitter Tyler Epp led the Huskies with nine kills, while libero Etienne Hagenbuch led the team with seven digs.
Kills: Jordan Nowakowski (9), Tyler Epp (9), Paul Thomson (9)
Points: Tyler Epp (10.5)
Blocks: Tyler Epp (1), Paul Thomson (1)
Digs: Etienne Hagenbuch (7)
Service aces: Tyler Epp (1), Robert Graham (1)
Player of the match: Jordan Nowakowski
Kills: Danny Demyanenko (11), Jori Mantha (11)
Points: Danny Demyanenko (16)
Blocks: Danny Demyanenko (5)
Digs: Pawel Jedrzejeski (11)
Service aces: Danny Demyanenko (2)
Player of the match: Danny Demyanenko
CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times CENTRAL TIME)
Thursday, February 26
13:00 Quarter-final #1: Dalhousie 3, York 2 (25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 16-25, 15-13)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: Alberta 3, Waterloo 0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-22)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: Trinity Western 3, Laval 0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-19)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: McMaster 3, Saskatchewan 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-18)
Friday, February 27
13:00 Consolation #1: No. 7 York vs. No. 6 Waterloo (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
15:00 Consolation #2: No. 4 Laval vs. No. 8 Saskatchewan (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
18:00 Semifinal #1: No. 3 Alberta vs. No. 2 Dalhousie (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
20:00 Semifinal #2: No. 5 Trinity Western vs. No. 1 McMaster (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
Saturday, February 28
14:00 5th place (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
16:00 Bronze medal (www.CIS-SIC.tv)
19:00 Championship final (www.CIS-SIC.tv)