Rams defeat Mustangs to advance to Quigley Cup final
TORONTO - Surrounded by an electric crowd on their home court, the Ryerson Rams defeated the Western Mustangs 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-18, 25-16) to advance to the OUA championship.
A win in the 2018 semifinals extends Ryerson’s winning streak to 21 games, and the team will look for a similar result on Saturday as they take on the McMaster Marauders in the Quigley Cup championship game.
The Rams would drop the first set 21-25, tallying an uncharacteristically low hitting percentage of .065. The team would bounce back in the remaining sets, taking three dominant set victories over the Mustangs.
“After the first set, we all came together and started working better as a team,” said right side hitter Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) “We were thinking too much and not following our game plan. Things started rolling again in the second set.”
Wark was selected the player of the game as she put up a crucial performance in the second set to help gain momentum for Ryerson. Wark had 11 kills and nine digs in four sets for the Rams.
“We knew tonight was going to be tough,” said head coach Dustin Reid. “We knew we were going to have to overcome a lot more than we have in recent matches. I was really encouraged by how we overcame a poor performance in the first set. After that, we really dictated the play and controlled the ball well on our side.”
Later in the evening, the McMaster Marauders would take a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Varsity Blues in the second semifinal matchup of the day, advancing to face the Rams for gold tomorrow at 6 pm.
Home court was a crucial advantage for Ryerson tonight, with hundreds in attendance to watch the Rams defeat the Mustangs.
“It’s an honour to host an event like this with the teams that are here,” says Reid. “It shows what a great volleyball venue this can be.”
The Rams are relaxed and ready to play tomorrow, says both Wark and Reid.
“We have to focus on what’s coming tomorrow,” notes Wark. “If we play loose and have a lot of fun, we have a good chance of winning.”
Tickets for the bronze and gold medal games can be purchased here.
If you cannot make it to the Mattamy Athletic Centre tomorrow, follow along with us on Twitter, @RyersonRams, using #weRrams or watch the games live on OUA.tv.