Photo By: Stephen Leithwood

Brock’s women’s volleyball team kept their winning ways alive with two wins this weekend over the McMaster Marauders. The home-and-home series was dominated by the Badgers, as they took the first game 3-1 (25-19, 25-27, 28-26, 25-22), and the second game 3-0 (25-22, 25-20, 25-21). 

Nearly two weeks removed from their season-opening win over Guelph, the Badgers appeared eager to return to the court on Friday night. The team took on McMaster in front of their hometown fans at the Bob Davis Gymnasium, and entered the match ranked as the sixth best team in the country. 

The Badgers raced out to an early 6-0 lead in the first set, piecing the lead together with three kills from first-year left side Madison Chimienti, two attack errors from McMaster, and a service ace from third-year setter Sara Rohr. After a timeout, the Marauders came back and played well offensively, tacking on five kills and three aces of their own to force a Brock timeout. 

The errors then began piling up for McMaster, and Brock capitalized on sloppy plays to regain their cushion. With the score at 19-14, it was the trio of Chimienti, and outside hitters Sadie Dick and Emily Foest who shut the door on the first set. Brock would go on to win it 25-19, impressively committing just four errors in the first set. 

The beginning of the second set was a script flip from the first, with McMaster jumping out to an early 5-0 lead. It took the Badgers a while to find their footing in this set, as six of the Marauders’ first 12 points were a result of Brock’s errors. The home team slowly began to claw their way back into it, on the back of a run where the Badgers grabbed 10 of the ensuing 15 points to knot things up at 20.

A heated back and forth affair was in store for the set’s final minutes, with the teams exchanging blows en route to a 25-25 tie. A kill from McMaster and a final attack error from Foest would be the difference maker, as the Marauders would take the second set by a score of 27-25. 

The pivotal third set was defined by Brock’s ability to weather the storm against their opponent. Despite multiple 5-0 runs by McMaster, Brock was able to hang around, and trailed 16-11 as the set went to a media timeout. A flurry of kills from Chimienti, Rohr, Foest, and third-year middle Christina Jovetic helped the team tie the set up at 20. 

The teams exchanged points once again, before a block from McMaster put the Badgers down 25-24. With the crucial set hanging in the balance, Jovetic made two big plays, the first a kill from Rohr to tie it up, and then a block to take a 26-25 lead. After Chimienti committed an attack error on the next point, she responded with consecutive kills to win the thrilling third set 27-25. 

The fourth set featured 10 errors from the McMaster offense, as well as strong play from second-year right side Gigi Markotic. Markotic recorded three service aces as well as two kills. Markotic’s kills, both set up by Rohr, were the final two of the set for the Badgers, and the home team would win the set 25-22. 

The strong performance from the Badgers in front of their home fans included 16 total kills from Chimienti, 13 from Foest, and five from Jovetic. The trio also combined for eight blocks across the four sets. On the defensive side, second-year libero Aleiah Torres led the way with 16 digs, and Rohr contributed six digs to go along with her 37 assists.

The Badgers travelled to Hamilton to face McMaster on their home court on Sunday afternoon, in which the first set saw Chimienti and Foest picking up right where they left off less than 48 hours earlier. The pair combined for seven kills in the first set, which Brock won 25-22. 

The second set saw Dick getting in on the action, as she posted seven kills of her own. A familiar sight for the Badgers saw the team in a tightly contested set as both teams crept towards 20 points. Late-set heroics were delivered from Jovetic, who recorded a kill and a service error, as well as from senior middle Grace Pyatt with a kill and a block to put it away. The Badgers took the second set by a score of 25-20. 

Looking for their second sweep of the young season, the Badgers came out aggressively, with a service ace from Chimienti, a kill from Pyatt, and a block by Dick and Pyatt. Two more kills each from Foest and Dick gave Brock an early 8-3 lead, though McMaster responded with a run despite the dire circumstances. Ultimately, the Badgers offense was too much for the Marauders once again, as Brock went on to win 25-21 to complete the sweep.

Standout players on the afternoon included Dick, who led the way with 11 kills, and Pyatt, who tallied 10 kills and four blocks. Rohr posted her third straight 30 plus assist game of the year, as she notched 34 assists to continue her impressive early-season play. 

Brock now sits at 3-0 atop the OUA West, while McMaster drops to 2-2 in a three-way tie for second place with Waterloo and Western.

The Badgers will look to remain unbeaten as they take on the Guelph Gryphons twice this weekend. Friday evening’s game will begin at 6 p.m. at Bob Davis Gymnasium, before Brock travels to Guelph for a 1 p.m. rematch on Sunday.