C/O Yoohyun Park, Multimedia Coordinator

These are the McMaster sports teams to watch this year

In the 2021-2022 season, there was plenty to be proud of in the world of McMaster University sports. Between the school's 11 U Sports clubs and the 16 Ontario University Athletics teams, there was always something going on. Now heading into the 2022-2023 season, here are the teams you should have your eye on.  

Honorable mentions 

The women’s volleyball team may not have finished the year on the podium, but they certainly had a promising year. The team is centered around star Sullie Sundara, the 2021-2022 rookie of the year award winner, first team all-star and U21 team Canada member, as well as fellow first team all-star Jessie Nairn and second team all-star Ellie Hatashita. The team finished second in the West, having won eight and lost four in the regular season before being upset by the Western Mustangs in the quarter final. Going forward, the team has a very young core, only having lost a couple players heading into the season. With their last OUA championship having been only five seasons ago, and their last finals appearance only four seasons ago, they have a chance to make it back and do some real damage this season.  

The 2021-2022 men’s baseball team was one for the history books. Despite what the team has been through, they managed to bring home an OUA silver. Outfielder Nik Motruk also won the most valuable player award, while Joshua Kalmin took home rookie of the year honors. It was a huge year for the team and one would feel safe in assuming the club would find themselves in the power rankings the following season. However, many key graduating members have kept the team in the honorable mentions. Back-to-back MVP winner Motruk and former Cy Young winner (awarded to the league’s best pitcher) Julian Tymochko as well as a couple other notable contributors have completed their time at McMaster. The baseball team faces an uphill climb as they look to return to the OUA playoffs in their upcoming season.  

5. Men’s Wrestling 

The men’s wrestling team went a long way in 2021-2022, finding their way into the five spot in this season's power rankings. Over the past year there were two major tournaments for the team, the Brock Open and the OUA Championship. At Brock the men’s team managed to pull away with a first place finish, as Francesco Fortino, Trystan Kato, Luken Lawson and Sarpartap Lally all won the gold in their respective weight classes. Five other members of the team also found themselves on the podium with silver or bronze. 

Shortly after the Brock Open, McMaster as a team finished second in the province at the OUA Championship. Peter Shirley, Trystan Kato and Francesco Fortino took home gold medals, while the team also earned two silvers and no bronze finishes. Shirley would finish the season as OUA’s outstanding male wrestler of the year.  

All members of the team are expected to return for the 2022-2023 season.  

4. Men’s Basketball 

Following a loaded year for the team, the men’s basketball team just fell short after losing a close matchup to the eventual OUA champion Brock Badgers in the semi-finals. The team saw a blazing hot start leading into the winter break, winning all six of their matchups. Following their return to play in January, they started to slow down, in part due to more difficult competition. The team still finished with a strong 11 wins and five losses. They were the only team — regular season and playoffs — to defeat the Badgers all year.  

The team, led by former Maine Red Claws assistant coach Patrick Tatham, is full of explosive young talent. In 2021-2022 they only had one player, Luka Mircetic, in his fourth year of eligibility (or later), creating a path for sustainable success. With Jordan Henry (first team all-star), Mike Demagus (second team all-star), Culley Bremner (all-rookie team) and co returning this season, the continued chemistry between the already strong ball club could go a long way.  

3. Men’s Soccer 

The 2021-2022 season was a strong, but underwhelming one for McMaster men’s soccer team. After finishing second in the central division with an overall record of 6-2-2, the Marauders fell in their first round quarterfinal matchup against the defending champion and nationally third ranked, Carleton Ravens. The team was expected to go much further, but ultimately fell victim to an unfortunate early round matchup, facing arguably the most difficult team possible.  

Despite the early playoff exit, the team showed promise. Dusan Kovacevic and Al-Shakman were named to the All-Canadian team, while Al-Shakman was also selected to the all-rookie team, and named OUA Central rookie of the year.  

Heading into the upcoming season, it is a team still rich with talent. The biggest challenge for the club will be overcoming a coaching change, following the departure of longtime McMaster head coach Dino Perri, who spent the last 14 years with the team. He won three OUA titles and qualified for five national championships, which included a silver medal run in 2014. The Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame member will be succeeded by assistant coach Chris Markou, who will take on an interim role.  

2. Women’s Basketball 

The women’s basketball team has to be one of the most exciting young teams McMaster has to offer. In a 2021-2022 season that was supposed to be a rebuilding year, the team finished with a winning record of nine wins and six losses, locking themselves into a playoff spot. Their season would end in a close 49-45 loss to the Brock Badgers in the quarterfinal.  

McMaster’s basketball teams commonly credit their success to a strong culture. Along with 28 year veteran coach and three time coach of the year award winner Therese Burnes, the entire roster from the 2021-2022 season is expected to return. The team, led by Sarah Gates and Mia Spadafora — both members of the Marauders 2019 national championship team — has a great opportunity to continue their upward trajectory on a path of improvement through a greater sense of familiarity and on-court chemistry. There could be much more than just a playoff berth to remember the 2022-2023 season by. 

1. Men’s Volleyball 

There is no team more clear cut for the number one spot than the Marauders men’s volleyball team. Since the 2007-2008 season, McMaster has won the provincial title in a staggering 10 of 14 playoff runs, the most recent being the 2021-2022 season in their return to the court.  

The Marauders shined bright all season long, sweeping their way to the OUA championships by winning all 15 games they played. Ranked as the third best team in Canada, they continued through to the national championship, where they placed fifth. Individually, the team was loaded with accolades. Dave Preston took home the coach of the year award, Robbie Fujisawa and Maxime Gratton were named to the all-rookie team while Gratton won the rookie of the year, Wojtek Kraj and Mateusz Wlodarski made the second team all-star and team captain Jordan Pereira and Sam Cooper were named to the first team all-star.  

Pereira is the only graduating member of the team, with everyone else slated to return to the court, so the Marauders have an incredibly bright future ahead as they continue to dominate the volleyball world.  

Photos by Cindy Cui / Photo Editor

Head coach of the men’s basketball team Patrick Tatham has had an illustrious career. While he was an athlete he played Division 1 basketball at Cleveland State University. He moved on to  play overseas for the Sions Herens Basket in Switzerland and the Itzehoe Eagles in Germany, with brief stints in Qatar and Syria.

Following his playing career, Tatham transitioned to coaching. This included jobs with Stoneridge Preparatory School in the states and the Maine Red Claws of the NBA G League. After five years of being assistant coach for the Ryerson University Rams, Tatham became interim head coach from 2015-2016. Now, he is the head coach of our McMaster Marauders. Simply put, the man has seen it all.

Taking part in so many positions was a huge learning experience for Tatham. His ability to transition with ease is one of the reasons for his accomplishments.

“It’s been a nice journey. When I was at Stoneridge I had no clue what I was doing. I just did what I thought I knew to do based off my coaches at Cleveland State. Then coming back home to Stoneridge I took whatever we learned at Cleveland state to try and help the culture at Ryerson because there was no culture at all, we were one of the worst teams in Canada. It was like rolling the dice, you have nothing to lose. Just roll the dice and see what works and what doesn’t work and then make the necessary changes,” said Tatham.

As the saying goes, fortune favours the bold, and it certainly did with Tatham’s coaching style. When he began coaching at Ryerson, the team was struggling. However, the rough patch presented an opportunity for growth given that the team was willing to take risks and innovate.

“I use that blueprint now, here at Mac, there’s already a base and foundation here but it’s about me cleaning up a few things. Just doing all the necessary stuff to make sure all the guys are successful, not just on the court but in the classrooms,” said Tatham.

Tatham’s journey from high school to Division 1 basketball was quite different than what you see nowadays. Typically, top Canadian basketball prospects are noticed either before high school or midway through. Then they go to a preparatory high school in the United States. If they’re good enough, they go to a top college. However, this is not always the case, and it wasn’t for Tatham. He went to Chinguacousy Secondary School in Brampton and from there attended Cleveland State University.

Young Canadian athletes are often told that if they want to follow their dreams, they have to leave Canada. Fewer and fewer Division one scouts are looking to the north for elite-level talent, as the United States is already filled to the brim with talented basketball players. As a result, top Canadian hoopers tend to relocate to the U.S. during high school. Tatham was able to stay home for high school and then play for a top school down south, and he’d like to see more Canadian athletes do the same. In order to accomplish this, Tatham says that U sports needs to do more to incentivize young Canadian athletes to stay at home.

[pjc_slideshow slide_type="basketball-feb-6-2020"]

 

‘’If we want to retain some of these kids to stay home and play at the U sports level, which is pretty high in my eyes, U sports has to take it upon themselves to really find a way to make the entire playing field very balanced. Offering a little bit more money even if it’s only to five or six scholarship athletes, but I think someway somehow we’ve got to get to a point where we can retain some of these kids that go south . . . and instead get them on a scholarship for four or five years [at home],” said Tatham.

Retention of top Canadian athletes would bring U sports to another level. Can you imagine a league where Shai Gilgeous-Alexander played for McMaster or RJ Barrett played for the University of Toronto? This would bring another degree of respect not only to U sports, but to Canadian athletics in general.

Beyond his vision of a brighter future for Canadian university sports, Tatham focuses on his coaching style. He aims to ensure that his coaching staff is setting a high bar for their program and other programs around the league. He and his staff choose a philosophy of leading by example, setting a precedent of excellence for the team to follow.

“I think within our culture it’s really from the head, heading all the way down to the players and managers. I’ve got to be as consistent as I possibly can and then hopefully my coaches can follow suit and then after the coaches follow suit we all put it down to the players and then the players can follow suit,” said Tatham.

Tatham, or PT as his players know him, uses tough love when it comes to coaching, making sure to always tell players what’s on his mind, whether it’s good or bad. This transparency ensures mutual respect between the coach and team—they always know what he’s thinking, and the team can focus on improving.

Outside of performing on the court, the program has a strong presence in the community. The team holds a yearly summer camp where kids from over Hamilton can come and learn from some of the city’s best athletes. It presents an opportunity for growth, not only for the kids who come to learn how to hoop better, but also for the  team and coaches.

“This is the only university in the city of Hamilton so being able to have 200 kids coming to camp for two weeks is something special,” Tatham said. “A lot of the younger kids are going to look up to some of our players and when our players graduate maybe some of those young kids will come to play at Mac. Being able to do the program is not just a great thing for our program but for the city because I think the city needs more basketball camps and I’m just grateful to be a part of it.”

Younger kids from the Hamilton area however are not the only ones being mentored and inspired. Players on the men’s basketball team have access to a mentorship program where men’s basketball alumni come in and talk about life after Mac. The alumni share how the skills they learnt through the basketball program helped them later on in life.

“We’ve been doing a mentor panel for two years. I think that’s been the biggest success in my two years, I think the guys really enjoy the mentor panel and I think alumni enjoy coming back and talking to the current players. So far that’s been the most gratifying thing,” Tatham said.

All in all, the program is in great hands. From competing at an extremely high level as a player to competing for greatness as a coach, Tatham has seen it all. His level of experience and understanding, as well as his connection with fellow staff and players, will be key for the team this season and the years ahead.

 

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Photo C/O Kyle West

The 2019-2020 McMaster men’s basketball team kicked off their season on Oct. 25, with a heartbreaking two-point loss against the Lakehead University Thunderwolves. Following this loss, they won their next two games, against Lakehead and the Brock University Badgers, bringing the team to a record of two wins and one loss.

This season, the team looks to break the playoff barrier and achieve their first winning record since the 2015-2016 season. With how strong the team looks this year, this goal appears promising. 

This season, the team looks to break the playoff barrier and achieve their first winning record since the 2015-2016 season. With how strong the team looks this year, this goal appears promising. 

Other than starting the season at two wins and one loss, the team has shown flashes of their potential in order ways, demonstrating how dominant of a team they can be at their best. Notable performances from players, such as second year guards Jordan Henry and Sefa Otchere along with fifth year forward Connor Gilmore, have propelled this team into a potentially great season. 

Right off the bat, Henry jumped into the season as one of the top statistical performers on the team, having a hot first game, and improving in every game thereafter. On the court, he has maintained a field goal percentage of 47.2 per cent, while averaging 23.3 points per game. In the team's second game of the season, Henry led the team in points, assists, rebounds and steals. These stats are all quite remarkable as Henry is only in his second year.

Otchere is the other second year guard who managed to start the season with an impressive 33 points, while leading the team with four three pointers in their first game. 

Gilmore could be one of the key players down the stretch. He has a reputation as a “glass cleaner”, grabbing rebounds left and right, through a playstyle similar to former Toronto Raptors player, Jonas Valančiūnas. In each of the last two seasons, Gilmore averaged over eight rebounds per game. This season he’s continuing this trend with a strong presence in the paint. As the team’s leading rebounder last year, a big year from him could be critical down the stretch and could lead to a perfect send off, being that it is Gilmore’s fifth and final year with the team. 

When asked about his goals for the team this upcoming season, Gilmore offered an optimistic and ambitious response.

“I hope to get to nationals this season,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore believes in a more team-oriented approach to basketball, choosing not to focus on individual accolades.

“I’ve learned over time that if you care about things like that, your team won’t be successful. I’m worried about our overall success, and whatever comes after that is just the cherry on top,” Gilmore added.

“I’ve learned over time that if you care about things like that, your team won’t be successful. I’m worried about our overall success, and whatever comes after that is just the cherry on top,” Gilmore added.

The fifth year veteran was also asked about the most significant change for the team during his time. 

“The most positive dramatic change would have to be the hiring of coach Tatham and the positive effect he has had changing the culture of our program. He was given a tough hand to start with, but he has done an excellent job thus far and will continue to do so,” Gilmore denoted.

Coach Patrick Tatham is entering his third year as the Marauders’ head coach. Before taking on the role, Tatham was an assistant coach for the Maine Red Claws of the G-League, which is the developmental league of the National Basketball Association. Throughout the season, it will be interesting to watch how coach Tatham adjusts his gameplan from game to game given his professional experience.  

Despite winning their second game of the season against Lakehead, their field goal percentage was only 35.8 per cent, with a three-point percentage of 27.2 per cent. Also, there were only seven assists made in the game. Ball movement and smart shots will be key for the team going forward. This will arguably be one of the most important things to watch for this season, as the team looks to build on the 2018-2019 season, in which they made the OUA quarter finals. 

Photos by Catherine Goce

This time last year, I was contemplating what my future in the sports industry would look like. I had just wrapped up my first year as the Silhouette’s sports reporter and though I gained a ton of valuable skills and experiences, I was really unsure if I wanted to continue as a sports writer.

Though despite my doubts, I saw the doors that opened for me through this job and I decided to give it another shot in my final year.

I took on this role because I knew that if I wanted to find a job in the sports industry, everything that I did outside the classroom would matter the most. Being a multimedia and communications student at McMaster has taught me a lot of the skills I need, but the practical aspects of the sports industry one can get at programs at Ryerson University or Brock University are not offered here.

So along with writing for The Silhouette I took on four major sports-related extracurriculars. From running women’s football on campus, to helping the men’s basketball team figure out their social media presence, I tried to get as much experience as I could.

This, along with my previous internship experience, allowed me to figure out what exactly I had a passion for. I knew that I could write, I had two articles every week for the last two years to prove it, but I also knew that it was not something I was passionate enough about.

Running women’s football gave me a chance to work out my organizational and operational skills. A major part of the sports industry is game operations. Although it is a bit different to what I am used to as a comms and media student, I have always had an interest in planning and carrying out projects.

This role had me overseeing over 150 students, both student-coaches and players, and organizing tournaments; it was no easy task. In my frustration I quickly came to realize although I once had an interest in sports operation, it was not something I envisioned myself doing long-term.

It was not until I was working with the McMaster men’s basketball team creating creative content that I discovered what I was truly passionate about. It combined the media skills I learned in class, my personal interests and my sports media knowledge.

Giving a team who struggled on the court an online presence that did not just reflect their losses was a fun challenge. We immediately saw the positive feedback in an increase in followers and activity.

Now that I figured out my passion, it all began to seem so simple. Apply to social media positions for different sport teams in organizations? I can do that no problem. Although it was not enough.

Part of looking for a job, especially in the sports industry, is through networking. This is something I have always struggled with, so it was something I challenged myself to do this year. I first met with Camille Wallace, digital media specialist for Team Canada, who reminded me how my job as sports reporter already helps me to build these networks.

As I had started the year before, I continued to interview alumni who work in the sports industry and found a mentor in Vanessa Matyas, Marketing and Media Manager at NFL Canada.

NFL Canada’s Marketing & Media Manager Vanessa Matyas on her journey from McMaster to her dream job, and how hard work and perseverance led her there. https://t.co/TiBu0xd8kq pic.twitter.com/Ln8gt6wVRd

— The Silhouette (@theSilhouette) March 11, 2019

 

Through her advice and help, I have been able to fix up the resume I used to see no flaws in, and even land myself my first dream job interview. Unfortunately for me, due to still being in school, I was unable to move forward in the interview process.

But with positive interview feedback under my belt, I am now ready to take on the job search by storm. I know it will not be easy, but I have been, and I am ready to work hard and use what I learned while at Mac in and out the classroom.

When I look back at the beginning of my journey four years ago, I never would have thought that I would be here today. Although I do not have it all completely figured out, leaving Mac with a sense of what my purpose is something I am grateful for.

As senior year comes to an end, I am extremely grateful that despite my doubts, I gave writing with the Sil another chance. Even though there were many times I felt like I was in over my head, I could not have imagined my senior year any other way.

 

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Photo by Kyle West

After you lose the trust of basketball coaches around Ontario University Athletics, how to do you bounce back to show them that you were worth a shot? You get named to not only the OUA All-Rookie team but the U Sports All-Rookie Team too. After just one season with the McMaster men’s basketball team, first-year guard Jordan Henry has proven a lot of naysayers wrong.

Henry, like most basketball players, first encountered the game through street basketball at just three years old. He first joined a team when he was in the fifth grade and has had quite a journey since then. Shorter than the average basketball player, Henry did not let his height stop him from going after what he loved.

“My love for basketball came from just watching it on television,” said Henry. “Watching players like Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant, I wanted to be just like them when I was younger.”

Henry’s talent started to speak for itself when he was in the tenth grade and he went to Pine Ridge Secondary School, a school in Pickering, Ontario with a well-known basketball program. During this time, he also played for Team Canada along with first-year Duke sensation R.J. Barrett and was part of history when the under-19 team became the first national team to win gold in basketball at any International Basketball Federation or Olympic event.

C/O Noah Hoffman

The national team was led by the Ryerson University Rams’ head coach Roy Rana, so it seemed like the obvious fit for Henry to commit to Ryerson when it was time for him to choose where he would take his talents in post-secondary. But things didn't go exactly as planned.

Shortly after making the verbal decision, Henry decommitted. This decision had a lot of people scratching their heads, but for Henry, his decision was one that many high school students have made. With Ryerson’s campus downtown and close to his home, he knew he would not be getting the ‘university experience’, and class in a concrete jungle was not what he wanted.

Searching for his destination and before he landed at McMaster, he took a pit stop in London, ON.

“I committed and went to Western [University] but unfortunately, that didn't work out,” said Henry. “I was not focusing on school and I knew if I continued, I was going to flunk out. So, after playing one game, I decided to leave Western.”

C/O Noah Hoffman

Unfortunately for Henry, according to U Sports’ Eligibility Rules, a student-athlete who transfers from one U Sports member institution team to another after having been assessed one year of eligibility, must not participate in any competition (conference or non-conference) for a period of 365 days.

However, the one-year wait was the least of Henry’s problems. After bouncing from Ryerson to Western, despite his talent and accolades to prove it, a lot of coaches did not think he was worth the risk, except for Mac’s head coach Patrick Tatham.

“I knew Patrick from high school, and he took a chance on me,” said Henry. “I gained PT's trust by working hard and showing him I wanted this just as much as he did.”

So far, after just one season together, that chance has paid off for both Tatham and Henry.

“Mac has been a good fit for me,” Henry said. “At the start, it was kind of hard basketball wise and I thought I lost my rhythm, but as I worked hard and pushed through, I became more comfortable and it's been easy ever since.”

That in combination with a better understanding of university life thanks to his time at Western, and a few friendly faces including ex-Western teammate Damiann Prehay who also came to Mac this season, set Henry up for success.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BuzvhB-hHeX/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

In a season of ups-and-downs for the Marauders, Henry was one of Mac’s most consistent players this season. Henry played in all 24 regular season games, starting 21, and had a total of 113 assists by the end of the season, which placed him fourth in assists in the OUA.

He also averaged 11.9 points per game, so it was no surprise when he was named to both the OUA and U Sports All-Rookie Teams. Though the recognition was a humbling honour for Henry, getting to prove those who doubted him wrong throughout the season are the moments that will stick with him forever.

“Winning the big games against Brock [University] and [the University of Wilfred] Laurier are moments I’ll remember,” said Henry. “But winning against Western will stick with me forever because not only did it show them that they lost a good player, it showed me that I made the right decision coming to Mac.”

The team player in every sense has a bright Marauder career ahead of him over the next few years. With goals to get better at basketball and one day make the U Sports Men's Basketball All-Canadian First Team, he hopes to one day play professional basketball and maybe even get into fashion.

 

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Photos by Kyle West

By: Coby Zucker

Looking at the McMaster men’s basketball roster, the word “young” comes to mind, as nine of the 16 players on this year’s squad are rookies. With the addition of third-years Damiann Prehay and Yaw Antwi-Boasiako, and the return of Connor Gilmore, only four current players were on the roster last year.

Despite solid contributions from core veterans Matt Quiring and David McCulloch, this drastically different roster makes it is easy to see how top contenders might overlook the team. Even still, despite the youthful lineup, the Marauders are not interested in taking the path of least resistance and slapping the “growth” and “rebuilding” tags on the season.

🏀 FINAL: McCulloch's 23 points leads the way, as @MacMensBball pulls away in the fourth quarter to record the 97-80 win over Guelph!

Mac is 2-0 in the New Year, and improves to 6-7 in conference play. #GoMacGo pic.twitter.com/LKmkJ3UgAO

— McMaster Marauders (@McMasterSports) January 12, 2019

“Yeah, I know that there’s a lot of first-years,” said junior forward, Kwasi Adu-Poku. “But at the same time, I’m feeling like this is a really good chance for us to do something big. We wouldn’t really see it as a growth year because [head coach Patrick Tatham] brought in a lot of people who are ready to work, ready to go hard, already have a good idea of how to play and everything.”

Coach Tatham’s confidence in his rookies certainly shows. Freshman guards Tristan Lindo, Sefa Otchere and Jordan Henry are averaging 26.1, 20.3 and 25.6 minutes per game respectively, accounting for 28.2 points per game together.

The confidence is paying off, and the rookies are looking to keep up the trust and continue to earn the right to lengthy minutes in their first season of university-level play.

“[Coach Tatham] expects me to be more aggressive, play with confidence, be solid defensively and offensively, and just play with a lot of heart and effort,” said Otchere.

For Otchere, despite his solid numbers in the first half of the season, the adjustment to university ball has taken time.

“You want to do a lot of things because you’re not used to this level yet,” Otchere added. “But just trying to more composed, more relaxed, just understanding you don’t need to rush, everything will just come to me on the court.”

The amount of inexperience within the Marauder’s system has also catapulted the few returning players into leadership positions. Adu-Poku, only in his third year, is already finding himself in the veteran role.

“It’s a bit weird to process at times,” said Adu-Poku, “because I still feel like I’m pretty young myself. When I come into practice and see a lot of first-year guys kind of eager to learn, I realize I could at least give them a bit of mentorship in that respect. So I’m realizing that I’m more of a leader than I think I am.”

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpUla7-hwWd/

Adu-Poku was also quick to stress that leadership spots are not just doled out to the players who have been in the system the longest.

“I think with [coach Tatham’s] culture right now… I think he’s just really trying to show that anyone can be a leader in the sense that, if you’re willing to step up and fit the idea of what he wants to get done and just do what you do best, he’ll use you as someone that people could get advice from,” Adu-Poku explained.

In all, there is a pervasive sense that this Marauders squad, containing the few core veterans supported by a cast of motivated rookies, are still more than capable of putting together a strong campaign.

While the dominant Carleton University and Ryerson University teams might still be out of reach for the time being, the Marauders continue to gain university-level experience and build chemistry. Only getting better, the Mac men will look to continue to prove they are capable of knocking down teams previously thought to be well beyond striking distance as the season progresses.

 

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Photo by Kyle West

Both the men's volleyball team and women's basketball team took the weekend by storm with two victories each, while the men's basketball and women's volleyball teams won one out of their two games. Here are the stars of the weekend.

Sarah Gates

The second-year is no stranger to the Pita Pit Athlete of the Week award, most recently winning the weekend honour on Nov. 15, 2018, when she scored a career-high of 24 points. This weekend, she poured in 19 points for the Marauders in both of the team’s wins. Gates who was called to the 2018 Ontario University Athletics All-Rookie team, shot 50 per cent from the field and 40 per cent from the three, as well as collecting four rebounds in the win over Wilfrid Laurier University. Against the University of Guelph, she hit three of eight shots from three, and gave the team four steals and four rebounds.

 

Right side @MattColeP from @MACMVB and @macwbball guard Sarah Gates are the @PitaPitCanada Athletes of the Week. @mcmasteru #GoMacGo

READ ⬇️https://t.co/u7nAO5cvSh

— McMaster Marauders (@McMasterSports) January 14, 2019

 

Matt Passalent

After sitting out due to injury, Passalent hit the court for the first time of the regular season and did not miss a beat, being recognized as the Pita Pit Athlete of the Week for his efforts. Facing two U Sports top-10 opponents this weekend, the Marauders took home two victories and Passalent was a big part of both. The fourth-year had 10 kills, two aces and a block assist for 12.5 points Saturday against University of Windsor, and 15 kills and 18.5 points against Western University, which bumped them up to #4 in the national rankings.

 

There are 4️⃣ @mcmasteru teams ranked in this week's @usportsca Top 10s, with @MACMVB and men's wrestling both moving up two spots!

♂️🏐⬆️4️⃣
♀️🏀↔️4️⃣
🤼‍♂️⬆️6️⃣
🤼‍♀️↔️9️⃣#GoMacGo pic.twitter.com/qqPgOWV8jK

— McMaster Marauders (@McMasterSports) January 15, 2019

 

David McCulloch

In the Marauders’ second victory of the New Year, coming against the Guelph Gryphons, McCulloch contributed 23 points shooting 64 per cent from the field. The 97-80 road win seemed like just the fire the Marauders needed to bring it home and win again. Unfortunately, the Laurier Golden Hawks had other plans. Despite the fifth-year guard being the second highest leading scorer of the game with 15 points, the Golden Hawks came for revenge and defeated the Marauders 87-73 at home.

 

Jessie Narin

Narin led the Marauders offensively in both games against Windsor and Western this weekend. With 17 kills and 23 points, including five aces and a solo block, she helped Mac defeat Western on Saturday night in the fifth set. Narin, a right side, also led offensively the night before in the loss to Windsor, with 14 kills, three aces and a block assist for a team- and match-high 17.5 points.

This weekend McMaster basketball will face the Lakehead University Timberwolves in back-to-back home games this weekend, with the women playing at 6:00 p.m. and the men at 8:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Both volleyball teams will then take over Burridge on Sunday, as the women and men host the Brock University Badgers this Sunday at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. respectively.

 

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Photo by Kyle West

 

Men's Basketball

After finishing the first half of the season 4-7, it seemed as if the Marauders would need a serious holiday miracle to win again. Their first game of the 2019 schedule was against the No. 9 nationally-ranked Wilfrid Laurier University Golden Hawks, and winning did not seem on the horizon. However, behind the leadership of veteran Connor Gilmore, who had 22 points, they pulled off the upset, winning 79-67. Hopefully, the good start will follow them into the rest of the year as they face the University of Guelph Gryphons this Friday, who boast the same 5-7 record, and the Golden Hawks again the following night who will surely be looking for revenge.

 

Women's Basketball

For the women’s team, winning comes easy. After defeating the Golden Hawks with a whopping 82-62 win, it seemed as if they did not skip a beat in the new year. Linnaea Harper led the team in scoring with 17 points, and the women bumped up one spot in the national rankings now sitting in fourth. With Guelph and Laurier again to beat this weekend, the Marauders will hope to maintain their four-game winning streak and improve on their 10-2 record.

 

Men's Volleyball

The men’s volleyball team used international competition to improve their game over the holidays. Although they did not leave Long Beach, California with a win going into the New Year, they saw overall team improvement, which is exactly what they went there to do. These improvements were on display the following week as they took on a top Polish team, Jastrzebski Wegiel, and defeated them twice (3-1 and 3-2). The No. 6 nationally-ranked Marauders will now return to conference competition against No. 7 University of Windsor Lancers and No. 8 Western University Mustangs this weekend.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsTJ1fchXea/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

Women's Volleyball

The women’s team did not take on any non-conference competition this holiday season, although during the break they added top talent setter and defensive specialist Christina Stratford, and setter Nikolina Malic for the 2019 recruiting class. The Marauders will be hitting the court for the first time since Nov. 30 this weekend, facing the 3-6 Lancers and the 5-4 Mustangs. Currently sitting at 5-3, these games will determine if McMaster will stand out in Ontario this season or fall down the rankings.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BsVoKLaBMPi/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

 

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Photos by Kyle West

Marauders basketball has been off to a great start this season. With a fresh new team and home opener win, things were starting to look up when the McMaster men’s basketball team defeated the nationally-ranked Brock University Badgers, giving them a 3-0 record.

This success is a result of head coach Patrick Tatham’s 2018-19 season changes. After having a slow start to the 2017 season losing nine games straight, Tatham learned a lot of lessons, but he also knew big changes needed to be made in his second year of coaching at Mac.

“One thing that I did learn is that there’s a ton of highs and lows in one program,” said Tatham. “Also, understanding how much works need to be done during the offseason, like recruiting players of different years.”

For Tatham, the one thing he enjoyed from last year’s up-and-down season was the one thing that remains constant: the support. No matter how much they were winning or losing by, the Hamilton community and the people that support their games would still come out. So, it was a nice treat for these loyal fans when the new and improved men’s team came out strong this October.

“We brought in nine new players. A mixture of young guys, transfers and a returnee, Connor Gilmore, who has helped a great deal,” said Tatham. “We’ve also added an assistant coach who used to play here, so that has been a great addition.”

Other off the court changes he has been passionate about was the formation of a social media team. For Tatham, in a world that is so social media driven, a strong social media presence is the best way to build hype for his team, win or lose.

“You kind of have to go with the mainstream or get lost in the shuffle,” said Tatham.

Back on the court, he has already seen an immense deal of improvement from his new recruits.  

“We’ve had about six of the new guys here all summer and you can see their progress already,” Tatham said. “Guys like Tristan Lindo, Jordan Henry, Maliek Gordon and Connor Gilmore have all had wonderful growth, but we have to continue to grow.”

[spacer height="20px"]Unfortunately for the Marauders, their first road trip weekend put an end to their early undefeated record. Falling short to the Nipissing University Lakers and the Laurentian University Voyageurs who are led by the 2018 BLG Award for U Sports Male Athlete of the Year, Kadre Gray. For Tatham, these losses were due to a combination of a number of factors.

“For the first-year guys, sometimes they don’t really understand how hard it is to get regular season wins on the road,” said Tatham. “But at the same time, I think that the approach for last week was a little tricky. We had yet to play back-to-back games for the first time, so guys we’re still just really understanding the magnitude of a road trip.”

The key for the team to bounce back is simply going back to the basics.

“Just getting back to all the little things that we were doing before,” said Tatham. “Rebounding, playing with our hands, getting deflections; playing with great pace and getting defensive stops. We’re excited [for our next game]. I think the guys are up to the challenge of taking the No. 2 team. But we’ll see what happens tonight.”

Being able to bounce back against the No. 2-ranked Ryerson University Rams is no easy task. The Marauders were able to hold their own for the first quarter, leading 19-17 with three minutes to play in the first, but Ryerson quickly reminded us why they were national contenders after going off on 10-0 run and Mac was never able to catch up.

Although the game’s results were expected for Tatham, former interim head coach of the Ryerson Rams, he will always take their matchups more personal than others. Having taken current Rams players to nationals in 2017, it always makes it an interesting experience for him to coach against them.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqNBkrBBDOz/?hl=en

“They’re a team where I basically learned all my coaching from over the last six years,” said Tatham. “J.V Mukama — a Hamilton local, whose younger brother Jesse happens to play for the Marauders — is probably the one guy on the team that I considered a young son to me, and I also work with [Ram’s head coach] Roy [Rana] with the senior men’s national team. So, it should be a special night no doubt.”

Having to wear the two hats of friend or father figure and opposing team’s coach is not always easy for Tatham, but it has to be done.

“It’s funny because we’re going out to a Raptors game even though we’re going to play each other in two days,” Tatham said. “But I’m always ready to put that other hat on when it’s time to compete.”

The night may not have ended in the Marauders’ favour, as Ryerson took home the dub in typical Rams’ fashion 102-70, but it was a night to remember for Tatham regardless.

The Marauders bounced back as expected the following night, and defeated the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 89-77, thanks to veteran David McCulloch and a breakout night for the rookie and newly-named starter, Sefa Otchere.

Up next, the Marauders are headed to Ottawa to first face the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees and then the No. 1 nationally-ranked Carleton University Ravens.

“The Carleton one is an interesting one simply because we play them on the second night of a back-to-back. So right now, we are focused on if we can take care of what’s in front of us,” said Tatham. “Win, lose or draw, I think it will be a great experience for our guys because in the end, we’re focused on one thing, and that’s winning the West.”

Only time will tell if the Marauders can put this goal to fruition, for now, they are on to Ottawa.

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Photo by Kyle West

Sarah Gates, women’s basketball

It was a big weekend up north for the second-year guard. In the first of the women’s team’s two weekend contests, Gates led the team in scoring with a career 24 points in their 91-44 beat down against the Nipissing University Lakers. The next night, she did it again, bringing in another 24 points to help the team win a much closer game against the Laurentian University Voyageurs. Her all-star performance awarded her the Pita Pit Athlete of the Week. Next up, Gates and the Marauders face the Ryerson University Rams and University of Toronto Varsity Blues,where they hope to keep up their undefeated overall record.

C/O  OUA.tv

[spacer height="20px"]Connor Gilmore, men’s basketball

After starting 3-0 and upsetting the nationally ranked Brock University Badgers, the last thing the men’s team wanted was to lose to the Lakers. Unfortunately, they were not prepared for the cold battle, and fell short 71-80. Although they lost, senior Gilmore remained a team leader, bringing in 16 points and eight rebounds. The next night, winning was still not on the horizon as the team almost made a comeback, but fell 80-74 to the Voyageurs. Gilmore once again was a team leader and brought in 16 points 12 rebounds and three assists. Hopefully, Gilmore can help lead the Marauders to win against Mac head coach Patrick Tatham’s ex-team and nationally-ranked Ryerson, before a tilt with the Varsity Blues.

[spacer height="20px"]Andrew Richards, men’s volleyball

The senior led the men’s team with 23 kills and and overall 25 points in the 2-3 loss to the Queen's University Gaels. The next night, he did it again with 15 kills, five aces and a solo block for a match high of 21, his efforts leading the Marauders to defeat the Royal Military College of Canada Paladins. The Marauders improved to an overall 3-1 record, though they dropped on the national rankings, currently sitting at No. 4 as they head into their upcoming game against the Trent University Excalibur in Peterborough this weekend.  

Photo from Silhouette Photo Archives

[spacer height="20px"]Hailey Kranics, women’s volleyball

The women started off their weekend with a 3-1 win against the Gaels. Leading them in their victory was middle Kranics, who brought in 14.5 points that included eight kills, four aces and two and a half blocks. They did it again the next night against the Paladins in a 3-0 win where Kranics helped out, bringing in five kills. The team now sits at 2-2 and hope to change that this weekend against the Excalibur.

C/O  OUA.tv

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