Marauders win down south

Laura Sinclair
January 8, 2014
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Marauder men’s volleyball team is back in regular season this weekend after the winter break, which saw the team travel to Florida to compete in the Alden Cup Tournament.

The team came back from their trip victorious, winning the tournament. But this was not an easy task facing their first loss of the year, against their OUA rivals, the Waterloo Warriors.

“Our game is really intricate, our game is really timing-based, really rhythm-based and coming off a month of not competing, our rhythm and timing was poor at best,” said head coach Dave Preston.

The Marauders last match before the break was November 30 against the Guelph Gryphons, and their match against the Warriors was on Jan. 2.

Their long break from competitive play and action hindered their performance in the match, and the Warriors were the better team overall.

“Waterloo was just too good for us to be able to win that match,” said Preston.

After the loss, the Marauders did not waste any time hanging their heads.

Instead, they used the loss as motivation heading into their other two matches against the Montreal Carabins and Calgary Dinos, which saw them pull off two key wins to prevail in the tournament.

“One of the comments that I heard that probably sums it up best, is that our loss against Waterloo was really good for Waterloo, but it was great for McMaster. It kind of grounded us, and made us respond accordingly,” said Preston.

What was key in the Marauders success in the tournament was their ability to learn and develop from their loss to the Warriors, and their ability to stay calm under pressure.

“We reacted, but we didn’t over-react. We didn’t panic, we kept our composure. So it worked out pretty well,” added Preston.

The Maroon and Grey managed to win both of their matches in the remainder of the tournament, with their best game coming against the Calgary Dinos, where they managed to win it in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 26-24).

Before the game against the Dinos, the team was informed that they would need to win the match in three or four sets in order to win the tournament. If they happened to win in five sets, then they would lose, and Waterloo would win the tournament.

Despite the extreme pressure that the team was under, they still managed to dominate the match, as they began to play a similar style to how they played in the first half of the season.

“Our transition game, our passing and our serving was all back to and closer in range to what we like to hold it to. So we were pretty pleased after the fact not just with the result but with how we were playing,” said Preston.

Although the team was looking more and more like how they looked in the first half of the season, coach Preston thinks that it is not good enough.

“Where we were at in our first half isn’t going to be good enough in the second half. We’ve got to be better than how we were in the first half, and have to get back to a standard of how we like to hold ourselves to,” said Preston.

The Marauders will attempt to get back to a standard of play that they will be satisfied with on Friday night against another OUA rival- the Western Mustangs.

In the last two showdowns between these two teams, both matches have been taken to five sets.

Coach Preston knows that the match against Western will be a battle from start to finish, but after the tournament in Florida, he believes that his team is more focused than ever, and will be ready for the fierce competition that the Mustangs bring.

“We’re at a better position now than we were a couple of days before Florida. We’re healthy, we’re motivated, we’re close to where we were before the break, but I think more than anything because of our motivation we’ll be better Friday than we are right now,” said Preston.

The match will take place at 8 p.m. in the Burridge Gym, and Coach Preston knows that his team will be prepared for it.

“We know our reality, Western is a great team and we’re going to have to play really well to take care of that match, but we’re ready to.”


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