McMaster University’s athletics were in full force this weekend, with 13 different teams competing between Friday and Sunday. This weekend saw a combination of bitter endings for some, and some exciting beginnings for others.
The men’s volleyball team began their regular season this weekend at home with matchups against two very familiar opponents, Western University and Windsor University.
McMaster, Western, and Windsor all sport exceptional volleyball programs, finishing first, second, and third respectively in the OUA West standings last season.
On Friday night, the Marauders battled against the Western Mustangs in a matchup that always brings fierce competition and exciting results. In the previous two years, Mac and Western have split their match-ups 2-2.
With this in mind, the Marauders came prepared to battle the whole night, anticipating a tightly contested match. After a very close first set which the Marauders won 25-22, and a narrow loss in the second set 23-25, the men in maroon rallied back to take the next two sets and win the match 3-1.
In true Marauder fashion, the win came on the back of a combination of veterans, rookies and everything in between. Mac had 12 of the 14 dressed players make an appearance on the court, each making an impact and building the depth of the squad for the long season.
With the momentum of a home opener win, a feat that the Marauders have failed to do in the 2 previous seasons despite finishing first in the OUA West standings both times, the team looked forward to a rematch of last years OUA semi-final against the Windsor Lancers.
This match saw the return of fifth-year opposite and 2018-19 OUA West Player of the Year, Matthew Passalent, to the starting line up. Matt finished the game with 20 kills on 27 attempts and 0 errors, averaging out to an efficiency of .741 and propelling his team to a dominant 3-0 win over a perennial OUA title contender.
With a 2-0 opening weekend, the Marauders will spend the week refocusing and preparing for another pair of important match-ups this weekend.
On Friday night, the team will head up to Kingston, Ontario where they will play the reigning OUA Champions, the Queens Gaels. On Saturday, they will complete their road trip with a battle against the RMC Paladins.