Photo by Mathieu Belanger

Rams take down No. 1 Dinos, advance to national final

By Jessica Pincente

QUEBEC CITY, Que. - A 3-1 (25-23, 26-24, 25-20, 25-14) win over the No. 1 seeded Calgary Dinos sends the Ryerson Rams into the U SPORTS national championship game for the first time in program history.

A guaranteed national silver-medal finish is the highest in history for the Ryerson women’s volleyball program.  

BOXSCORE  | HIGHLIGHTS

A first set victory established the pace of the match for the Rams, who played to the best of their abilities through the remainder of the game.

“I think we understood that if we played the way we played [Friday] night that we weren’t going to get a lot of second chances against a team like Calgary,” said head coach Dustin Reid. “We knew we had to play great from the beginning. And, what can I say? We won a first set. That’s insane. It’s been a while since we’ve been in that position.“

Calgary would steal the third set, but the Rams would show no mercy and take a 25-14 win in the fourth set to end the game with a 3-1 Ryerson victory.

Rams hitter Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) registered 12 kills and 19 digs, while libero Julie Longman (Newmarket, Ont.) had 13 digs on the match. Longman says the victory tonight was packed with meaning for herself and the other seniors on the team.

“It means that all the hardship I’ve gone through over these past five years is all worth it,” says Longman. “It makes everything - the ups and the downs - that much more special.”

Ryerson’s Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) had five service aces, and Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) had 10 blocks.

A combination of fantastic individual performances secured Saturday’s semifinal victory for the Rams.

“We really executed and put a lot of pressure on our opponent,” continues Reid.  “And we played right to the finish. I’m so proud to be a member of Ryerson University today.”

Ryerson will face off for the national gold medal Sunday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. against the Alberta Pandas.  No Ryerson team has ever won a U SPORTS national championship, and the unbeaten Rams have a chance to challenge that fact on Sunday evening.

“It feels great, I’m so proud of our team,” says Longman. “We can do it. We can win a national championship.”

Fans in Toronto are invited to watch the national championship game at the viewing party at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

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http://www.mattamyathleticcentre.ca/https://portal.stretchinternet.com/oua/

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