One match went to a thrilling distance while the other was a three-set sweep, but it was McMaster prevailing in both on Saturday over the Waterloo Warriors.

The Mac women had their backs against the wall and found a way to patch their play and engineer a dramatic comeback on home court.

Erasing two match points from 22-24 down in the fourth set, the Marauders won four straight points to level the match before taking it in the deciding fifth, sealing a 17-25, 26-24, 18-25, 26-24, 15-12 victory to conclude the fall portion of their OUA schedule.

With the victory, the Marauders go into their break with a 4-4 conference record and tied the Warriors for third in the OUA West division.

Like pretty much every other match, Jessie Nairn led the team with 14 kills in the victory and added a pair of aces and a solo block to her totals. Middle Kamila Haase enjoyed her best offensive outing in the victory, picking up eight kills on 16 attempts while committing just one error and notching four solo blocks and two aces.

The hosts would reel off a run to take an early lead in the opening set, but the Warriors clawed right back into it and took a 16-12 advantage into the technical timeout after a Marauders service error.

Waterloo would see their lead swell from there, as they took the set 25-17.

However, McMaster had other plans, and dramatically reeled off five straight points of their own to snatch the second set.

As the third set began, the Marauders looked to be in full control. That was until the midway point when Waterloo’s Andrea Girard went to the service line and ripped off nine consecutive points to take a 20-14 lead after trailing 11-14.

Haase would give her Marauders squad some hope as they closed the gap to four points, but they would not get any closer as the Warriors took the set for a 2-1 lead.

Trailing for much of the fourth set and not looking so great, McMaster made their move to inject some drama into the night.

Maddie Lethbridge got the Marauders within a point at 18-19 causing Waterloo to call a timeout. The visitors then re-established their grip on the lead taking three of the next four points and brought up a pair of match points at 24-22.

But the Marauders once again found themselves putting together a run, saving match point and winning four consecutive points to force a fifth set as Haase flushed an overpass and Ella Stewart missed a shot wide.

With momentum on their side, the Marauders stormed out of the break to win the first four points of the short fifth set. They would build up a nine-point lead at 12-3 with Nairn hammering down an ace to bring the home side within three points of ending the match.

It then got very tense as Waterloo went on a 7-1 run to cut Mac’s lead to just three after a Mackenzie Vallee kill. The Marauders brought up match point when Rebecca Maxwell killed the rally but needed three looks to get the job done. They would clinch the match when Waterloo’s setter Gagne was called on a double contact.

In the men’s match there was no drama at all with the Marauders taking the match in three sets, relatively easily.

McMaster held Waterloo to a negative hitting percentage en route to a 25-18, 25-14, 25-12 win that improved the fourth ranked Marauders to 7-1 on the OUA season. The victory closes out the fall portion of their schedule as the student-athletes head into exams and a well-deserved winter break for the holidays.

Outside hitter Nathan Delguidice led all scorers with 13 kills and added two solo blocks for a match high 15 points. Teammate Craig Ireland also had a great night offensively with 11 kills on 22 attempts while committing just four errors.

The Marauders opened what proved to be a decisive lead with three consecutive points to head into the technical timeout leading 16-13 after a block by Dylan Romero-Marshall. That was part of a five-point run by the home side who pulled away late to take the first set on Matt Passalent’s block.

McMaster kept the foot on the gas peddle in the second, and after the Warriors’ setter Colm Guyn was called for a double tap, the Marauders were doubling up the visitors 16-8. Coach Dave Preston then started to show off his team’s depth as the second set became more lopsided as the men representing the maroon earned 10 set points when rookie Sam Cooper obliterated a cut shit for 24-14.

It only took a couple of tries for the Marauders to end the second set and take a 2-0 stranglehold on the match.

The Marauders didn’t play around in the third as they showed off their dominance. Mac sent the Warriors to a timeout by winning eight of the first 11 points played. David Doty would cap off a seven-point run with an ace to give his team an 18-6 lead. From there the home side coasted to victory, converting their second match point when Cooper knocked down his third kill of the night.

As they have before, the Marauder men will have a slightly shorter break for the holidays as they are expected to face Trinity Western, from British Columbia, early in the new year before getting back to conference play.