Photo By: Ryan Hyndman

Brock’s men’s volleyball team faced a tough test this weekend, as they took on the McMaster Marauders in a home-and-home set. 

The Marauders, who entered the week ranked as the third best team in Canada, took care of the Badgers 3-0 (21-25, 24-26, 25-27) on Friday night. The teams faced off again on Sunday, with McMaster completing the sweep once again (18-25, 20-25, 14-25). 

Senior outside hitter Logan House got things started for the Badgers in the opening set of game one, with a service ace that energized the sold-out crowd at Bob Davis Gymnasium. Brock then capitalized on three service errors from McMaster in the early going to keep things even. 

Mistakes of Brock’s own would soon go on to plague the home team, as the Badgers recorded 15 errors in the first set. McMaster would eventually take the first set by a score of 25-21. 

The second set of the game would go on to be more tightly contested, with Brock pushing McMaster to the brink and grabbing a narrow 23-21 lead late in the set. 

The lead was aided by a 5-1 run in the middle of the set which helped the Badgers take a 16-13 advantage. The Marauders strung together a block, two kills, a service ace, and then capitalized on a bad set from Badgers setter Grant Reddon to shut the door. McMaster won the second set 26-24.

The Badgers fought hard in the game’s third set. Despite trailing 18-13 at one point, Brock’s resilient spirit was on display once again. The home team kept chipping away and eventually knotted things at 24, thanks to the strong play of outside hitter Nanle Yusuf. 

Yusuf registered three kills and a service ace in the second set, which was somewhat of a breakout game for the third-year player. Following Yusuf’s third kill to tie it up at 25, McMaster came back with a kill and a service ace to take the set 27-25 and complete the sweep. 

Despite the result, it was a strong showing from the Badgers against a tough competitor. The outcome truly could have changed with just a few swings. 

“We had a couple moments where we just didn’t capitalize on the things that they gave us, and they took advantage of what we gave them, which is what good teams do,” said assistant coach Jacob Barker after the loss. 

After the sweep, the Badgers made their way to Hamilton for a rematch against the Marauders on Sunday afternoon. 

A 4-0 run from McMaster leading to a Brock timeout early on left the Badgers playing catch-up. After tying it up at two, Brock would not lead for the rest of the set. Brock played relatively cleanly, and was only charged with six errors. The Marauders offense was too much to overcome however, as the 12 kills and four service aces led to a 25-18 first set McMaster win. 

It was more of the same in the game’s second set, as McMaster controlled most of it on the back of outside hitter Sam Cooper. Cooper racked up four aces and two kills en-route to a 25-20 McMaster win. On Brock’s side, House and second-year outside hitter Saulius Lianga led the way with four kills each. 

After winning five consecutive sets, the Marauders appeared to smell blood in the water, as they came out guns blazing in the third. McMaster raced out to an 8-1 lead, and eventually made quick work of the Badgers to complete the sweep. Brock tallied just 14 points in the third set, their lowest scoring effort in a set this season. 

McMaster remains undefeated this season, while the Badgers dropped to 2-2 on the year with the back-to-back losses, and now sit in a four-way tie for second place in the OUA West with Waterloo, Windsor and Western. 

Brock looks to snap their two game losing streak this Friday night with another game against the Guelph Gryphons. The action will begin at 8 p.m. at the Bob Davis Gymnasium, before the two teams square off for a third time this year at 1 p.m. on Sunday in Guelph.