OUA UNCOVERED: 2014-15 season in review
RAUDERS SWEEP WARRIORS 3-0 FOR THIRD HT OUA MEN’S VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIP HAMILTON Ont, - It was to be his last game at the Burridge Gym, and Jori Mantha made sure that it was a memorable one. Mantha led the Marauders with 16 kills as McMaster put on a stunning performance to cruise past the Waterloo Warriors and win their third consecutive OUA title, and sixth in the past eight years on Saturday February 21st. Having already secured a place in the CIS Championship tournament with their semifinal win a night earlier, the Marauders entered the national event on a high note. The entire lineup was exceptional as McMaster swept Waterloo 25-18, 25-20 and 25-21 to claim the Forsyth Trophy yet again. Hitting .323 as a team, the Marauders had three scorers hit double digits, as Stephen Maar and Danny Demyanenko joined Mantha with 10.5 and 10 points respectively. But the fifth-year senior was the undisputed star of the show, winning the Most Valuable Player of the Match honours after killing 16 of 24 attempts with just a single error (.625). Austin Campion-Smith returned to full form, pulling the offfensive strings for 41 assists, and leading McMaster with 10 digs. The top team in Canada very much looked the part from the opening
whistle on Saturday, coming out swinging to put Waterloo on the back foot early. The middle combination of Jordan Dyck and Jordan McConkey was doing all it could to keep Waterloo competitive, but side-out volleyball was not enough given their early deficit, and Waterloo dropped the first set by a seven-point margin. Much as they had in the opening set, the Marauders began well in the second, and held the lead throughout. Increasingly, the Warriors outside hitters were struggling to contend with McMaster’s blocking, and the duo of Zach Doherty and Aidan Simone were both held under 10 per cent hitting on the night. Remaining steady on both sides of the ball, and pressing Waterloo from the service line, McMaster comfortably saw out the second set to take a commanding overall lead. Their backs against the wall, the Warriors saw errors creep into their game in the third set, and even while McMaster’s offence cooled somewhat, Waterloo remained well off the pace. The veteran middle Dyck turned in a fantastic set, but it was not enough to overturn the deficit his team faced, and McMaster ultimately made good on their second match point to lift the Forsyth Trophy yet again.