Photo by Matty Flader / Photo Reporter

While most of us got some well-deserved rest over the break, the women’s volleyball team was hard at work. Not only did they play games, but they signed yet another top recruit.

The Marauders signed Hayley Brookes in early December. Brookes comes from the Halton Hurricanes, a club team in Burlington. The Hurricanes have won consecutive national championships, and the team consistently churns out top university recruits. This includes a standout rookie from the Marauders, Marina Vesovic, who is tied for second-most kills over the season for the Marauders with 42.

Brookes is a five-foot-eleven libero whose defensive prowess will certainly be noticed by opposing teams come fall 2020. A libero is resemblant of a game manager, using offensive passing to place the ball for a setter to use to their advantage. They are also primarily responsible for mitigating the opposing offence’s attack.

Signing a top recruit was not the only big event that happened over the break.

Every year the University of Winnipeg holds a tournament called the Wesmen Classic. This year marked the Wesmen Classic’s 53rd iteration as they hosted eight teams including the Marauders. The maroon and grey won their first game against the Brandon University Bobcats in three sets. Unfortunately, they lost their next three straight games without taking a set. To cap off the tournament, the Marauders once again beat the Bobcats in the seventh-place game to take seventh place.

The team’s return to the court was not entirely sour. They faced the University of Toronto Blues on Jan. 3, winning the match in the fifth set. The Varsity Blues sit tied with Ryerson atop of the Ontario University Athletics East division with a record of eight wins and one loss. A win against the Blues provides the women’s team with great momentum heading into the remainder of the season.

The team has a double-header against the Lakehead University Thunderwolves on Jan. 10 and Jan. 11 to start the new year. The Thunderwolves have been struggling so far this season, having won only one one out of eight games, however  beating them still won’t be easy.

A challenging schedule lies ahead of the women’s team following their double-header. They have two matches against the Brock University Badgers, who sit atop the OUA West, and one with the Ryerson University Rams, who are tied as the leading team in the OUA East with a record of eight wins and one loss.

Even though the Wesmen Classic may not have gone as well as the team would have hoped, it was a productive winter break for the Marauders as they not only played hard, but also secured a recruit who should be a key athlete for the future.

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