On February 19, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team beat the McMaster Marauders 3–0 in the final game of the season. The Marauders are the fourth-best team in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA).
The Blues returned home after splitting two games against the Nipissing Lakers. The Blues last played the Marauders on January 15, losing 3–1.
The Blues started the first set strong, taking an early 16–10 lead. A series of attacking errors helped the Marauders reduce the deficit to 16–15, but the Blues responded strongly and took the first set 25–18.
“We came out playing really strong,” outside hitter Olivia Zhu said in a post-game interview with The Varsity. “[So] we want to end our season [with] a good [win].”
The second set was a tight affair from the start. Kills from Zhu and outside hitter Hope Kotun helped the Blues chase the Marauders, as they led 9–6. The Marauders would lead through most of the second set, but the Blues persevered and a kill from Zhu — her sixth of the set — helped the Blues a 21–20 lead. Ultimately, the Blues held on to their lead, completing the comeback to take the set 25–23.
In the third set, the Blues and Marauders traded points — the game was tied 15 times with both sides taking lead and losing it in quick succession. Late in the set, two kills from Zhu and an attacking error gave the Blues the lead, though the Marauders would fight back to tie the game 18–18.
A kill from Kotun handed the Blues the next lead, this time at 23–22, but a service error tied the game again. The Marauders would tie the game for the final time, though an attacking error and kill from setter Jasmine Safar secured the set and the game for the Blues.
“We weren’t really worried about the score. There are always ups and downs,” Zhu said. “We went in there confident and we stayed our course.”
Safar finished the game with 42 assists, while Kotun had 13 kills and 18 digs. Zhu had 11 kills.
The result means that the Blues finish the season ninth in the OUA standings with a 9–11 record.
“We started off the season a bit rocky. But I think we ended off our season really well,” Zhu reflected. “This last game was a great way to cap it off. I think it really showed how we grew as a team.”
Kotun and outside hitter Julia Murmann finished the regular season with 250 and 232 kills, respectively, enough to place them fourth and fifth in total kills across the OUA. Additionally, outside hitter Natalia Souza and Murmann finished fourth and fifth in total digs, with 278 and 252. Safar ranked fourth in total assists with 637.