The women’s team look to defend their OUA Championship this season after a 16-3 record last season and winning all but two of the 11 sets during the playoffs en route to the OUA gold medal.

The lady Marauders participated in and won the Ottawa Invitational tournament and had wins over Ryerson and the Toronto Varsity Blues in the preseason which helped them open the year ranked fourth in the U SPORTS national rankings. In doing so, they were the only OUA team amongst the top 10.

Of the starting six from the 2016-17 season, all are returning except for Rebecca Steckle who graduated. Joanna Jedrzejewska, Maicee Sorensen, Carly Heath, Aleks Arsovic and Caitlin Genovy all return to the team as seniors.

When the women meet their counterparts from the Rams on Friday it will be the first meeting since their final four appearance in the OUA semi-finals which they swept to advance to the championship.

On the other side of the court, the men’s team enters the season as the defending OUA champions for the fifth consecutive season. The five-year long reign matches the previous conference record set by Toronto between 1995 and 1999.

The men finished the 2016-17 regular season a perfect 17-0 then swept through the OUA playoffs to advance to the national tournament where they dropped just three of the 12 sets they played while picking up a bronze medal. Throughout the regular season the Marauders lost just five sets while sweeping 13 matches.

Peter Khodkevych and rookie Bennett Swan will look to replace Danny Demyanenko who graduated after winning the 2017 OUA West Player of the Year and being awarded the Ivor Wynne Award as McMaster’s Male Athlete of the Year.

Also graduating was 2017 all-star Jayson McCarthy. Stepping in to replace him is third-year player and Hamilton native Matt Passalent. If there are any indications that Passalent would not be a good replacement, it wasn’t showing in his new role on October 21st when the Marauders took on Ohio State. Passalent produced 22 kills and hit at a 65 percent clip in McMaster’s 3-2 victory over the NCAA champions.

Like the women’s team, the men last faced Ryerson in the OUA playoffs in the semi-final round, sweeping them 25-16, 28-26, 25-19 to seal their berth in the title match on home court.

The first game of the night will go at 6:00 PM when the women take the floor with the men’s game scheduled for 8:00 PM at Burridge Gym.