This year it was a bronze after defeating the Alberta Golden Bears three sets to none at the Telus 2018 U Sports Men’s Volleyball Championship. It was a dominate performance by McMaster who had set wins of 25-14, 25-16 and 25-22 a day after a heartbreaking four set loss to Trinity Western.

In the first set the Marauders went on three separate runs where they scored four consecutive points, building up a 12-point lead late in the set. Alberta would comeback and get the deficit back into the single digits, but McMaster picked up a point on an attack error before Matthew Passalent ended the set with a kill.

The Golden Bears jumped out in front in the second set, scoring six of the first eight points. At that point the Marauders took the next five points to move ahead on the scoreboard. With the set tied at seven, McMaster won nine of the next 14 points for a 16-11 lead at the technical timeout. Mac then put the pedal down, racing out to the set win while just conceding five more points.

That pedal stayed down at the start of the third set with the Marauders taking a 6-1 lead and putting Alberta behind the eight ball. That lead grew into a 16-10 lead at the technical timeout. Following the technical the teams alternated scoring which got the Golden Bears going as they got back into the game, within two points as McMaster looked to close out the match.

However, that was as close as they would get as Andrew Richards closed out the game with a kill.

For the Marauders, Matt Passalent scored 16 points on 12 kills and three aces to be named player of the match for the winning side. It was a different performance for the outside hitter who struggled in the other two games during the tournament.

Following the match Passalent said of his teammates, “We had a decision overnight to sulk in it or bounce back. In front of our home crowd, we knew that we owed it to everyone who has supported and helped up this season to fight back. I thought we did a great job of fighting through the disappointment and yesterday’s outcome and getting our result today.”

Passalent wasn’t the only player to post 16 points in the game. Senior Brandon Koppers, who will be graduating this year, also added 16 points to the team’s total on 13 kills. Koppers is expected to turn pro, playing in Europe.

During their six-medal run, the Marauders have collected four bronze medals and a pair of silvers. Overall, McMaster has appeared in the finals 16 times.