Rams topple Mustangs to advance to OUA final
WATERLOO — The no. 1 Ryerson Rams have advanced to the OUA gold medal game after earning a 3-1 (25-17, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23) win over the Western Mustangs in the semifinals on Friday night in Waterloo.
The Rams will look to defend their OUA title against the Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday night at 6:00 PM in Waterloo. The semifinal victory also means the Rams have officially secured a spot at the 2019 U SPORTS National Championship, taking place from March 15-17 at the University of Alberta.
A strong start for the Rams set the tone for the first and second sets of the match. Ryerson would earn a 16-9 lead at both technical timeouts, taking back-to-back 25-17 wins in the opening two sets.
Western particularly struggled with error-ridden play through the second set, tallying eight kills and 10 errors on 27 attempts.
The third set, though, saw an increasingly difficult battle rendered by the Mustangs. Western took a 16-14 lead at the technical and continued to push the Rams to the very edge. The Mustangs pulled out a 25-21 win in the third set, keeping the Rams on their toes heading into the fourth.
Ryerson dominated through the opening moments of the set, but the Mustangs weren’t done just yet. Despite trailing by five points at the technical, Western would go on an unstoppable run late in the set and pulled within two as Ryerson sat at match point.
A well-placed kill by Ryerson’s Brett Hagarty (Aurora, Ont.) sealed the deal for Ryerson in the fourth. The Rams took a 25-23 win in the set and a 3-1 win in the match, securing their spot in the gold medal final and in the 2019 National Championship.