The Marauders swept the Lancers in a three-set match to take home the OUA Forsyth Cup for the second year in a row. The Burridge was packed on Saturday night for the game and the intensity could be felt throughout the court. The teams had not faced each other in the 2022-23 regular season, so everything was on the line for their first match up against each other.
Leading the Marauders offense was second year Brendan Mills (London, Ont.), making 12 kills and three solo blocks. Alongside him was teammate Sam Cooper (Hamilton, Ont.) who made 11 kills and one service ace. Supporting the offense was setter Robbie Fujisawa (North York, Ont.), who led the team with 24 sets, 10 digs, and a service ace.
The first set of the OUA final started out as a close match, with points going back and forth between the teams. The stands were full of Marauder and Lancer fans who erupted with every point. McMaster was able to settle into their groove on their home court, as they started to gain a small lead. They were consistent with their powerful offense and strong on their blocks at the net, slowing down any Lancer momentum. They reached a five-point lead at 14-9, causing the Lancers to take their first timeout. Leading the Marauders’ offense were Mills and Cooper with five kills each, and they helped them tear away with a confident lead. Mills was looking powerful with his blocks, making one solo block and three block assists in the set that thrilled the crowd. The Marauders were able to finish the set decisively with a score of 25-14.
After a strong performance from the Marauders in the first set, the Lancers were out for redemption to keep the game close. The teams matched each other until the fourth point, but Windsor struggled to keep up with McMaster’s rolling offense as they began to tear away with a lead. The second half of the set looked very similar to the first, as the Marauders carried their momentum and continued to shut down the Lancers’ offense. Mills and Mateusz Wlodarski (Ottawa, Ont.) each got four kills past Windsor, while Tyler Pavelic (Guelph, Ont.) made two service aces. The Marauders found their place on top, finishing the set 25-16.
Facing elimination, the Lancers fought to stay alive in the third set. With the Marauders carrying their momentum through the first two sets, the pressure was on for Windsor. The third match was the closest of the three so far, with the Lancers attempting to keep the gap on the scoreboard small. Late in the set, Windsor was able to close the gap to 21-20, causing McMaster to call a timeout. The Marauders could feel how close they were to finishing off the game with this set, but Windsor showed grit, fighting for every point. On McMaster’s offense, Cooper made five kills in the set, while Fujisawa made eight assists. The end was a close match, but despite Windsor’s best efforts, the Marauders finished the set on top 25-21 to win the Forsyth Cup for a second year in a row.
Regarding the team’s championship win, head coach Dave Preston said, “I don’t want this to be taken for granted. Some guys are three-time OUA champions and so they’re fairly experienced, but the reality of it is I really want the student-athletes to enjoy this moment because they’ve worked so hard for it.” Graduating player Wlodarski was asked about the team’s performance this game and said, “it was a complete team effort from the very first point to the end of the game, no let up at all, which is something that we say that we want to be able to do and it was just beautiful tonight.” Second year Mills, who was selected as the Forsyth Cup MVP, was asked about this accolade and how it feels, to which he said, “it’s cool but I think it definitely shouldn’t be lost on anyone the impact that all of my teammates had on the game tonight… It’s just a testament to all the other guys on my team.”
The Marauders defend their Forsyth Cup Championship title in front of a sold-out crowd and look forward to playing next weekend in the U SPORTS Volleyball Championship. The match up for the quarterfinal games will be announced tomorrow as the Marauders await the seeding announcement for the national tournament.
This article is shared as part of our Fair Dealing Policy. For the original article, please visit: https://marauders.ca/news/2023/3/11/mens-volleyball-marauders-defend-their-forsyth-cup-title-for-the-second-year-in-a-row.aspx