A strong season ended on a somber note for the Marauders Saturday, as McMaster limped to a three set defeat at the U SPORTS consolation semifinal stage, in a rematch of the OUA final against Queen’s.
The Marauders worked their way into a 15-11 lead in the opening set, but were second best from there, falling 21-25, 18-25, 19-25.
With the result, the Gaels swept the season series against the Marauders, and dealt McMaster its first straight set loss at the championship tournament since 2009.
Matt Passalent was McMaster’s Player of the Match for a second straight day, collecting six kills on 16 attempts in a relief effort with just one error (.313).
Doing the heavy offensive lifting for the Marauders in the loss, Nathan Delguidice led the team with 11 kills and hit .450.
A pair of highlight reel worthy passes from Jordan Pereira helped Mac surge into a 15-11 lead and force the Gaels into a timeout just before the technical in the opening set.
But Queen’s quickly battled back, and trailed by just two at the mandatory stoppage, before taking the lead and forcing Marauders coach Dave Preston to burn his second timeout at 18-20 after an Adam Boljkovac kill.
Momentum stayed with the Gaels, who closed out the set when Malcolm Prentice floated an ace past the Marauders.
A nightmarish start to the second set saw McMaster lose the first seven points, before Passalent was introduced on the left side and the Marauders raced to close the gap.
Providing a clutch service run to help his team erase the deficit, Passalent sent the Gaels scrambling to a timeout at 7-10, and his team was within two points at the technical timeout.
The gap was just one point at 15-16, but Queen’s responded with a run to snatch the set away, winning nine of the last 12 points to claim it.
Another quick start for the Gaels had the Marauders on the back foot early in the third, and after Preston called his first timeout, his team was stuck five at 6-11.
Despite a response that knocked that deficit down to two almost immediately, McMaster could not piece together a run to overtake Queen’s, and another Gaels run after the technical timeout sealed the Marauders fate.
Source: Fraser Caldwell