Women's volleyball rookies setting the tone

Alexandra Reilly
November 20, 2013
This article was published more than 2 years ago.
Est. Reading Time: 4 minutes

Tobi Abdul

Staff Reporter

The McMaster women’s volleyball team travelled to Guelph to face the Gryphons this past Saturday, Nov. 16 in an attempt to continue their two game winning streak but were met with a heartbreaking loss of 3-1.

Nov. 17 saw them return home to Burridge Gym to face the Brock Badgers where the team seemed to get their rhythm back, taking the game in four sets.

“Against Brock we were better in most aspects of the game,” said head coach Tim Louks.

“We just created a slightly higher level of consistency and our gymnasium is a little bit friendlier for sure.”

McMaster came onto the court prepared to take the win and even out their record after their loss to Guelph.

Brock took the early lead with a 6-3 score, but was not given a chance to push forward as great offense and strategic defence soon gave McMaster the lead by two with a 16-14 score.

The Marauders were able to increase the gap to 22-14, due to amazing serving from Sophie Bukovec who served for seven straight points. McMaster could start to cruise slightly, leaving Brock to try and catch up. McMaster would eventually take the set 25-21.

The second set saw an even battle, with McMaster leading but not by a huge margin. At the technical timeout, the Marauders were leading 16-15.

The Marauders were playing well, with 13 successful kills in the set but Brock was playing their best set allmatch. Brock took the lead 22-20 and it looked as though they may take the set, but stellar defence, accurate passing, and consistent serving from the Marauders allowed them to take the set 25-22 and lead the match 2-0.

The third set was McMaster’s weakest offensively as they only had 9 successful kills and a kill percentage of 3.8 per cent. Brock came out with an 8-2 lead, a large part due to McMaster’s subpar offense.

McMaster continued to struggle offensively causing Brock to lead 16-8 at the technical timeout. Brock’s offense gained some momentum and the gap widened to 24-10, with Brock eventually taking the set 25-13.

Despite Brock taking the third set, it would seem as if the set was highly dictated by McMaster who had 18 unforced errors in the game out of 25 points. “Those 18 unforced errors are specific to outcomes,” said Louks.

“When we’re hitting a ball or if we’re touching a net or any of those kinds of things, we’re in charge of those things. You need to take care of that ball better. Don’t try and do too much or score every point.”

The McMaster team was back in full swing in the fourth set and they took the early lead of 9-3. The offense that awarded them the first two sets was back and their momentum continued to a lead of 16-8 at the technical timeout. Brock tried to regain control and started to close the gap, eventually reaching 21-15, however McMaster’s offense allowed them to take the set                               25-19 and the match 3-1.

It was the rookies who had the best showing during the game as the two leading scorers were Player of the Game Bukovec with 18 points, and fellow rookie Maicee Sorenson with 12.5 points.

With five players being in their first year, the Marauders had to account for the adjustment period.

“There are things every first year player has to go through, balancing an academic work load, being away from home for most of them, and all the things that go with that, practicing every day, a new set of teammates, all of that is a process that they have to stay attached to,” said Louks.

These first years seem to have found their stride and are adjusting to playing with a new team with extreme ease, playing as if they have been a Marauder for years.

“This team has made the adjustment to university as easy as it would’ve been for me. Being here has actually improved my own game because I work so much harder to play well when my family is in the crowd, I don’t get to see them as often, so I need to be on my game impressing them when they are here,” said first-year player Maicee Sorenson.

“All the players on your team are there to win, everyone around you is so committed to being successful, this raises the level of intensity forcing you to keep up and push yourself as hard as the rest of the team is pushing themselves.”

“The best thing with our team is their support, not only in volleyball but with life,” said another first year all-star Sophie Bukovec.

“The cohesiveness required to be successful can only be accomplished with the love and support by everyone on the team.”

McMaster’s record is even at 4-4, but the team seems to have found a rhythm that works for them both on and off the court.

For future games the Marauders need to improve consistency and control the rally.

“It’s continuing to be better,” said Louks.

“Our peaks and valleys are a bit large at times and we need to control that.”

“If we can replicate some of the pieces that are helping our performance then that will start to steady out a little bit.”

The Marauders will travel to Nipissing University to take on the Lakers Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. and will then travel to Toronto to play the undefeated York Lions on Nov. 24 in a match that will arguably be their biggest challengethus far this season.


  • Alexandra Reilly

    Alexandra Reilly is a third-year communications student and has been writing for the Silhouette for two years. She started her career in sports writing as a weekly volunteer and covering women's volleyball in her second year. Now she works as the assistant sports editor of the paper and hopes to one day work in sports media and broadcasting.

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