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Demyanenko and Maar Turn Down The NCAA

Stephen Maar (left) and Danny Demyanenko (right) after a practice earlier this week at McMaster University. Photo: Jeff Tam

The McMaster Marauders took aim at the stars this past year, and for a time, it seemed that the program would be forced back to earth.

Head Coach Dave Preston embarked on a recruiting drive nearly a year ago with the stated mission of chasing down the very best.

The only problem: the best rarely stay north of the 49th parallel.

“I told our players that we were going after some blue chip guys this year,” explains Preston. “I warned them what that could mean.”

The “blue chip” class in question was headlined by Danny Demyanenko and Stephen Maar, two leading members of the vaunted Toronto Crush club team that successfully toured the United States before winning yet another national club title in May.

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CIS: UBC Wins 2012 Women's Championship

UBC claims their fifth national title in a row.

It was hardly the dominant run of years past, but the UBC Thunderbirds claimed their fifth-consecutive national women’s volleyball title at the expense of the Alberta Pandas on Sunday night.

Battling back from a two set to one deficit in front of a large and energized crowd at McMaster’s Burridge Gym, the Thunderbirds capped their comeback victory with a block on Alberta’s rookie standout Alena Omelchenko.
Final set scores were 25-21, 15-25, 19-25, 25-20, 15-12 in favour of the British Columbian outfit in what was a neck-and-neck encounter between the nation’s top two teams.
The opening frame saw the Pandas open an early lead at 10-6 as UBC began to misfire from the outside, and the Alberta squad would maintain that advantage at the technical timeout after an emotional single block brought the score to 16-13 in their favour.
The Thunderbirds would emerge the stronger from the timeout however, and after Omelchenko botched an attempted attack from the middle, the Pandas’ lead had dwindled to just a single point at 20-19. UBC seized their opportunity and completed the first set comeback with a double block for 25-21.
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