Rams storm back to knock off UBCO, advance to national semi
QUEBEC CITY, Que. - The Ryerson Rams have officially carried their unbeaten streak into the U SPORTS National Championships, taking a 3-2 (22-25, 18-25, 25-23, 25-23, 15-8) victory over UBC Okanagan to advance to the national semifinal game on Saturday.
Dropping the first two sets to UBCO, the Rams would continue to fight back hard in the remaining sets, taking three straight wins and a match victory. The Rams registered a .000 hitting percentage in the second set with eight kills and eight errors on 34 total attempts but bounced back to average .257 attack rate in the remainder of the game.
UBCO was 10-0 after going up 2-0 in their Canada West matches this season, with their first stat-breaking loss handed over by the Rams on Friday night.
Rams head coach, and recently-awarded U SPORTS Coach of the Year, Dustin Reid says he wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance in the first two sets but was happy with the result.
“The first round is so packed with pressure,” says Reid. “We knew the type of team we were facing and we got a taste early of the quality of our opponent.”
Four players on the Rams registered 10 or more kills - player of the game Janelle Albert (Brampton, Ont.) with 15, Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) and Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) with 12, and Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) with 10.
Veltman says the pace of the game was very fast against UBCO.
“Everything is so flat,” says Veltman. “The arm swings are insane, there were times I was caught and I didn’t even realize the ball hit the ground because it was happening so fast.”
With the win tonight, the Rams will advance to the U SPORTS semifinals, taking on the Calgary Dinos Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. The Dinos took a dominant 3-0 (27-25, 25-21, 25-11) win Friday over Laval.
“We’re going to have to be the best version of ourselves,” says Reid. “We have to defend, we have to serve, we have to attack with confidence and support each other out there. There’s no magic against a team like that, just like tonight. To have a chance to test ourselves against that kind of team, that’s why we’re here.”
Friday night's win is the first in program history at the national championship.
Ryerson is the only non-Canada West team to advance to the medal round, as they join the UBC Thunderbirds, Alberta Pandas, and Calgary Dinos.