On January 15, the Varsity Blues men’s volleyball team faced the McMaster Marauders for the third time this season. Prior to this match, the Blues and Marauders had both won one match against each other in the preseason: the Blues won the first match 3–2 on October 22, and a week later, on October 28, the Marauders won 3–1.
Although the Marauders took an early lead in the first set, the Blues kept their composure, and evened out the score at 11–11. The score stayed close until the end, but after calling a timeout whilst up at 21–19 and making two substitutions, the Marauders finished the set up at 25–23.
Determined to take back the game, the Blues started the second set full of energy and tightened their blocks on defense. Despite the Blues’efforts, the Marauders were able to pull through in the end again, winning 25–21.
The Blues were under pressure going into the third set, but it did not affect the way they performed: they stayed calm and took control early on. It was not long until the Blues took a large enough lead that would last them until the end, securing the set at 25–18.
Everyone felt the tension between the teams as the fourth set started, and it was hard to tell which way the match would go. The Marauders eventually went up 15–10, and from that point on, the Blues struggled to close the gap; the Marauders won the last set 25–14 and ultimately took a 3–1 win over the Varsity Blues.
Despite the results, the Blues’ left hitter, Jayden Talsma, had an outstanding performance: he finished with a total of 10 points, eight kills, two blocks, and a team-high of 10 digs.
In an interview with The Varsity, Talsma said the Marauders were tough opponents, and the result was not what the Blues were hoping for. “Hopefully when we meet them again later this season we can do better,” he said.
Moving forward, Talsma said that the team is looking to, “Focus a little more on defense and slowing down [the opposing team’s] hitters so that [they can create more] opportunities for [themselves].”
The Blues are ranked second in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) standings with a 9–2 win to loss ratio overall and a 0.818 win percentage.
On January 20, the Blues will be off to Windsor to face the Windsor Lancers, who are ranked fourth in the OUA standings with an 8–3 overall and a 0.727 win percentage. The Blues beat the Lancers 3–0 both times in their pre-season matches and will be looking to rediscover their winning form when the two teams meet next Friday.