Despite a strong season for the men’s basketball team, it wasn’t quite enough for a finals run
McMaster’s men’s basketball team saw their season come to an end on March 23 following an 88-75 loss to the eventual champion Brock Badgers in the semi-final round of the Ontario University Athletics championship. Despite the somewhat underwhelming finish, it was a really strong season for the team from start to finish, with several notable achievements along the way.
The team finished the season with a record of 11 wins and five losses, good for the second seed in the OUA West. They started the season red hot winning five of their first six games leading into the winter break, but just couldn’t maintain that high standard in the second half, accumulating six wins and four losses, in part due to stronger competition.
One of the most “under-the-radar” accomplishments of the team this season was their Feb. 19 win against the Badgers, splitting the two-game series. This was the Badgers’ only loss, preventing them from a perfect 15-win record.
Although they weren’t able to bring home the championship trophy, the team still managed to finish the year with some serious hardware. Ares Culley-Bremner was named to the league’s all-rookie team, Mike Demagus made the second team all-star and team superstar Jordan Henry impressively earned his way onto the first team all-star.
As hungry as the team was for a provincial title, it’s hard to be upset over the promising results they earned this season. With no graduating players this season, the team has an opportunity to build on the success they’ve already had and just keep on pushing forward into next year.
After taking the first two games of the season in their only flight trip, the team has set themselves up for another successful year
On Nov. 5 McMaster’s women’s volleyball team played their first games of the season. After making the long trip out to Lakehead — the only trip they will make this season by way of flight — they completed a sweep, winning both games three to zero.
Although the Lakehead Thunderwolves were able to keep scores fairly competitive, the Marauders pulled away with a huge success to kick off their season.
One of the stars of the show for the Marauders was outside hitter Jessie Nairn, a skilled fifth-year student. Nairn, along with Emma McKinnon and Sullie Sundara led the pack on offense, with McKinnon taking 12 kills and Sundara and Nairn taking eight each.
Nairn would later speak to the importance of a strong start for the team following the completion of their successful series.
“I think it was a great start to the season . . . It’s the farthest trip of the year, so it was a big one to start with. It was a great start winning all six sets, going undefeated on the weekend. I think it’s a good start for a young team to get us going,” said Nairn.
Although Nairn felt good about her performance over the weekend, she felt like there was still more to desire. She explained how the team has great talent and significant potential and how there is a serious opportunity at hand for her squad to deal damage. The goals have been set sky high for the season and Nairn feels that they are within reach.
“I think that I can always play better, but thought it was a good start to the season for myself . . . We have a very strong team this year and we are going to make big things happen. Our goals are always going to be to win this league — win the OUA, get to nationals and do big things there as well. This year we really have a good chance to get there,” explained Nairn.
One of the challenges the Marauders must face each year is simply the difficulty of the division they were placed in. Along with the Lakehead Thunderwolves, they also face opponents such as the Brock Badgers, Waterloo Warriors, Windsor Lancers, Western Mustangs and Guelph Gryphons.
Nairn noted the difficulty of the division the Marauders find themselves in, but stressed that the team has what it takes to come out on top.
“The competition in this league is strong, especially in the OUA west. It’s getting stronger and stronger over the years, but I think we have a shot against every single team that we’re up against. We have incredible skill at every single position this year,” said Nairn.
It may be early, but currently standing first place in their division provides a strong sense of promise for the team as they continue with their season. As one of only four total teams (out of 14 total) who are currently undefeated, they have become one of the teams to beat.
The next matchup for the team comes against the Brock Badgers on Nov. 19 and Nov. 21, with the second game of the pair being the team homecoming. With a 73.7% winning percentage against the Badgers over the last decade, the Marauders should have a great opportunity to extend their streak.