Feb 28, 2015

Photo credit Josh Schaefer Photography

SASKATOON (CIS) – For the second straight season, the McMaster University Marauders repeat as CIS Men’s Volleyball Championship bronze medalists after a 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-22) win over the Dalhousie University Tigers Saturday at the Physical Activity Complex in Saskatoon.

It is the third straight season McMaster has finished on the podium after taking bronze in 2014 and silver in 2013. Dalhousie was competing in its 34th CIS Championship in 36 years and hadn’t advanced past the first round since 2008.

“I am very proud of the way we responded after such a disappointing loss yesterday,” said McMaster head coach Dave Preston, whose No. 1 seeded team was upset in the semifinal by the Trinity Western Spartans. “To be able to come back out and grind that win out is one of the biggest challenges a student-athlete will have to face. I don’t think we defended very well but our fundamentals were a little bit better. Dalhousie has a really versatile attack. Overall, I was just impressed with the gutsiness of our performance.”

Despite McMaster only having a one point lead throughout the majority of the first set, the Marauders seemed in control. A Dalhousie service error put McMaster at match point but returned the ball to the Tigers on a service error of their own on the next play. Kristen O’Brien held the Marauders at set point for one more play, but on the next ball Jayson McCarthy ended the set painting the line.

Dalhousie jumped to a 3-0 lead to open the second set after an Alex Dempsey ace, O’Brien and Justin Lynch block and a Marauder attack error. Just a few plays later McMaster went on its own point streak to take a 6-5 lead. The Tigers’ O’Brien tied the set at seven, but a Jori Mantha attack gave McMaster a lead and they didn’t look back. Mantha ended the set 25-16.

Once again the Tigers took an early 6-1 lead in the third set but the Marauders battled back to tie the set at 15. McMaster took an 18-15 lead capitalizing on Tigers’ errors. After conservation at the net between players on both sides, both teams were issued yellow cards in the set. Dalhousie cut the Marauders lead to one at 19-18, but it was as close as they would come in the set. Danny Demyanenko and a Dalhousie error gave McMaster the 25-22 win.

“McMaster had a great match and they beat us to the punch on a couple of occasions,” said Dalhousie head coach Dan Ota. “Other than the second set we were able to compete. We had our leads, we had our chances to continue to build leads but you know we’re playing a great team and it’s not just us. I certainly have to tip my hat to McMaster. They are a great group of players and they are certainly playing for pride after the tough loss last night.

“It was a great learning experience for our guys and I’m really proud how they came back in the third. I think it would have been very easy to lay down after a tough second set like we had. I think it shows the character of our guys.”

McMaster player of the match Mantha led the Marauders with 11 kills, while Brandon Koppers added another 10. Austin Campion-Smith led his team with eight digs.

Dalhousie player of the match Connor Maessen, O’Brien and CIS All-Canadian Bryan Duquette each recorded eight kills in the match for Dalhousie. Dempsey recorded six digs.


Kills: Connor Maessen, Kristen O’Brien, Bryan Duquette (8)
Points: Kristen O’Brien, Bryan Duquette (11)
Blocks: Kristen O’Brien (2)
Digs: Alex Dempsey (6)
Service aces: Bryan Duquette (2)

Player of the match: Connor Maessen

Kills: Jori Mantha (11), Brandon Koppers (10)
Points: Brandon Koppers (12.5)
Blocks: Alex Elliot (4)
Digs: Austin Campion-Smith (8)
Service aces: Jori Mantha, Alex Elliot (1)

Player of the match: Jori Mantha


Thursday, February 26
13:00 Quarter-final #1: No. 2 Dalhousie 3, No. 7 York 2 (25-23, 25-19, 25-27, 16-25, 15-13)
15:00 Quarter-final #2: No. 3 Alberta 3, No. 6 Waterloo 0 (25-14, 25-12, 25-22)
18:00 Quarter-final #3: No. 5 Trinity Western 3, No. 4 Laval 0 (25-14, 25-14, 25-19)
20:00 Quarter-final #4: No. 1 McMaster 3, No. 8 Saskatchewan 0 (26-24, 25-20, 25-18)

Friday, February 27
13:00 Consolation #1: York 3, Waterloo 2 (25-20, 22-25, 25-16, 23-25, 16-14)
15:00 Consolation #2: Saskatchewan 3, Laval 1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-15, 25-14)
18:00 Semifinal #1: Alberta 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19)
20:00 Semifinal #2: Trinity Western 3, McMaster 1 (28-26, 25-27, 25-17, 26-24)

Saturday, February 28

14:00 5th place: Saskatchewan 3, York 1 (26-24, 23-25, 25-19, 25-15)
16:00 Bronze medal: McMaster 3, Dalhousie 0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-22)
19:00 Championship final: Trinity Western vs Alberta (www.CIS-SIC.tv)