Photo by Ontario University Athletics (OUA)

Rams set to open 2018 with two key matches

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO - The Ryerson Rams have asserted their dominance through the first half of the 2017-18 regular season, going undefeated through each of their eight games so far, and the team hopes to keep up their winning streak to finish off the year.

In their final OUA matchups of 2017, the Rams took a 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-17) victory to the Guelph Gryphons and a hard-fought 3-2 (26-28, 25-27, 25-12, 25-15, 15-7) win over the Waterloo Warriors.

This talented Rams roster has earned them several league-best statistics.  The powerful offensive lineup averages 12.45 kills/set and the setters have garnered 11.58 assists/set.  

Looking ahead, Ryerson will be put to the test this weekend in two challenging matchups. The undefeated Rams will open up the year facing two OUA powerhouses in their weekend homestand: the Western Mustangs and the Toronto Varsity Blues.  Both teams have a 5-2 record in the first half of the season and both have 133 errors through their first seven games.  The Rams, having 111 errors through eight games, will take on these disciplined teams in what will turn out to be two very skilled matchups.

The Mustangs will travel to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Friday to take on the Rams at 6 pm as the teams will face off in their only regular-season matchup.  The last time these two teams met was October 2016 where the Mustangs took a 3-1 (26-24, 25-27, 23-25, 23-25) victory over the Rams.  

The matchup will also feature a family matchup, as Lauren Veltman will face her sister, Kelsey.  Kelsey has had an unbelievable season for the Mustangs so far, leading the OUA in blocks/set (1.56).  The sisters sit back-to-back in their attacking statistics, with Kelsey sitting third (3.33 kills/set) and Lauren sitting fourth (3.23 kills/set) in the league.  Friday’s matchup will make for another close game as the Rams face off for the first time in 2018.

Saturday evening’s game, dubbed by the OUA as the league’s Marquee Matchup, will feature a rematch of last year’s bronze medal game. The first-ranked Rams will take on fourth place Toronto Varsity Blues on Saturday evening at 6 pm.  These two teams met on November 17th, with Ryerson taking a 3-1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-16) victory at the Goldring Centre.  The Varsity Blues are one of the league’s best defensive teams, averaging 15.92 digs per set.  

Saturday is also a special evening for Ryerson, as the Rams will host over 400 young volleyball players as a part of the team’s OVA night.  Teams can register for free tickets by clicking this link.

Follow along with us on Twitter, @RyersonRams, using the hashtag #weRrams, or catch both of this weekend’s games broadcasted live on OUA.tv.

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