McMaster men's volleyball team is off to another impressive start
After winning the OUA title last year, the men's volleyball team kicks off the season with a close win at home
Last year, the McMaster University men’s volleyball team finished the regular season with a near perfect 18-2 record. The Marauders went on to win the 2023 Ontario University Athletics provincial championship and place third at the U Sports national championship.
Amidst the success, the men’s volleyball team gained itself a considerable fanbase, documentary series and some big expectations for this year.
On Sept. 4, the Marauders played their first regular season game at home against the University of Toronto with a close win in the fifth set.
The game opened with a 19-25 first set loss against the Varsity Blues. McMaster fought back to win the second set 25-21 and the third set 25-19 with notable efforts from Maxime Gratton, Robbie Fujisawa, and Tyler Pavelic.
The Marauders lost some momentum and began to stumble in the fourth set, losing 15-25. However, McMaster quickly cleaned up their offense to win the fifth set 15-12 following an electrifying final point from Brendan Mills.
Despite the graduation of several veterans players from the roster, including Wojciech Kraj, Mateusz Wlodarski and Sam Cooper, the win showcased some of McMaster’s promising new talent.
Brady Paterson, a first-year outside hitter, was introduced into the starting lineup and finished the game with six kills. Another rookie, Jared Kuiken, also made an appearance in the home opener. Third-year player Haben Yohannes earned more minutes and finished with six kills and three blocks.
This was the first regular season game coached by Hamilton local Brad Douwes, who served as the former assistant coach for the Marauders in the 2021-2022 season. This May, Douwes was named head coach following the retirement of three-time National Coach of the Year, Dave Preston.
Despite all these changes, the first game back shows that there is lots more to look forward to for the men’s volleyball team. The Marauders face off against the University of Waterloo Warriors next on Nov. 10, before heading on the road for a game on Nov. 11 against the York University Lions and games on Nov. 17 and 18 against the University of Windsor Lancers.