By Kaden Nanji
The Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) Bold men’s volleyball team was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Forsyth Cup playoffs by the McMaster Marauders on Saturday at the Burridge gymnasium.
The Marauders looked to get revenge on the Bold, after TMU ruined their undefeated season during their last matchup on Feb.17, by beating them in four-sets.
The Marauders got off to a ferocious start, completely dominating the Bold in the first set, after getting off to a quick 18-10 lead in less than 10 minutes. The Bold found it near-impossible to receive the Marauders’ lethal hitting, with the volleyball bouncing all around the venue as the Bold attempted to control it.
The Marauders ended up accumulating a stellar 0.824 hitting percentage in the first set, spearheaded by middle Tyler Pavelic who finished the match with a game-high 0.800 hitting percentage, along with nine kills. The Marauders finished off the first set with an assertive, 25-15 victory.
The Bold began the second set on a more positive note, starting the set with a 4-2 lead. The rest of the stanza was a back-and-forth affair with both teams going point for point, until the Marauders took a 23-21 lead late in the second.
Bold Interim head coach, Niko Rukavina, immediately called a timeout after the Bold’s slip in points. Coming out of the timeout, the Bold looked like a new team, playing stellar defence and coming up with two big blocks to close out the second set, 28-26.
The third set was reminiscent of the second set with the Bold coming out more aggressive and composed. It remained close through the first seven points, before the Marauders went on a 13-4 run, to take a definitive lead in the third.
McMaster finished off the third set, 25-14, limiting their errors and playing great offensively, led by the duo of setter Robbie Fujisawa and outside hitter Brendan Mills.
This surge of momentum by the Marauders seemed to carry on through the fourth set, where the thunderous duo of Fujisawa and Mills continued to flourish. Mills launched six kills, part of his game-high 20 kills, in the fourth set, while Fujisawa dished out a career-high 47 assists.
The Bold, however, failed to let off against the Marauders with Bold libero, Lhexen Rabbit diving on nearly every play to control the ball. Even through the perseverance, the vengeful Marauders proved to be too much, taking the fourth and final set, 25-20.
With this loss, the Bold’s championship hopes have come to an end, while the Marauders will look to repeat as champions, as they move onto the semi-finals.
UP NEXT: The men’s volleyball team heads into the off-season.