MAC’s masterful blocks prove too much For Waterloo

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Waterloo’s women’s volleyball team faced a fierce opponent on the court in the McMaster Marauders Jan. 24. They entered into the shortened fifth set to try and break the tie, but the win was just out of reach for the Warriors, the game ending 10–15 for McMaster.


There was tension throughout the game. The first point of the game went to the Marauders, but Waterloo was quick to come back only to fall behind by four. When the score turned 9–14 for McMaster, the gap widened significantly to a 12-point lead for the visiting team, the set ending in their favour. When asked what caused the poor performance in the set, coach Luke Snider said the team was not playing to the best of their abilities, and not accomplishing the goals the team had set for themselves. The first period proved only a warm up though, and Waterloo staged a roaring comeback in the second and third set.


Fourth-year setter Mikaela Klie led the hustle into the second set, opening a 12–5 lead against the Marauders. Snider commented that Klie had her best match of the year. McMaster did score some aces, but Waterloo had powerful blocks that ricocheted the ball up into the air which allowed for some great kills by rookie outside Madison Taylor. Libero Kristen Bartmann, left side Gillian Henderson, and Klie all had amazing digs, catching some low falling balls in the nick of time, with Bartmann having top stats at 29 digs.


The second and third set had a noticeable trend: the longer the rally, the more likely it would be the Warriors would score. Said Snider, “It is definitely strategy and skill. The type of skill set that we have on the team is conducive to long rallies — gaining the advantage over several plays over the net.


“We’re not the type of team to typically bury the ball on the first opportunity.”


The longer rallies were a determining factor of the two sets — Waterloo killed most McMaster aces with expert diving by the entire team. The chemistry of the players was palpable; the girls had great team dynamics, calling out and strategizing in real time to get the ball over the net. The Warriors won the two sets with a cool 25–13 and a nail-biting 25–23.


The fourth and fifth sets went differently. Hoping to win the game 3–1 in four sets, the Warriors ran out of steam. McMaster had been proving their blocking abilities throughout the game, but were absolutely masterful in this round. Attempted spikes were blocked, ricocheted up, and slammed down by the Marauders, leading to a 22–16 lead and later a 25–19 win by McMaster. Tension was high going into the fifth and final set. Shortened by 10, only 15 points were needed to win the game. It was close throughout — Waterloo trailed by only two or three points — but soon the gap widened to five, and the Warriors lost 10–15.


When going into the game, Snider said she was hoping the Warriors would control the outcome of the match.


“We have proven in both our wins and losses that the level of play [Waterloo] brings is determining the level of outcomes,” Snider said. He also said that going into Waterloo’s next game, the team will need to lengthen their rallies while playing aggressively point by point.
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