Photo by Christian Bender

Rams look to bounce back against division rivals

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO — After snapping their 28-game winning streak against the Western Mustangs last Saturday, the No. 5 Ryerson Rams will look to secure their place atop the OUA East with two upcoming matchups against the York Lions and the Nipissing Lakers.

A 3-1 (14-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25) defeat at the hands of the Mustangs last week marked the Rams’ first regular-season loss since February 2017.

Saturday’s unfortunate defeat was highlighted by several strong individual performances. Middle blocker Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) lead the team with 17 kills and four total blocks, while outside hitter Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) had 19 digs across four sets.

The Rams will look to bounce back this weekend, facing off against two familiar opponents in the York Lions and the Nipissing Lakers.  The weekend road trip marks the team’s final two games of the fall semester.

Friday evening, the Rams will head to York University to take on the Lions in the Tait McKenzie Centre. The Lions will present the Rams with a difficult challenge; York boasts a 5-1 record this season, currently sitting tied with Ryerson with 10 points on the year.

York’s attacking duo of Kayla Clennon (Stouffville, Ont.) and Aleksandra Steins (Port Hope, Ont.) are both averaging 2.58 kills per set this season. The Rams will need to put a stop to these two key offensive forces to minimize the Lions’ attacking opportunities and walk away with a win.

Ryerson will head north the following day to take on the Nipissing Lakers in North Bay. With a 3-2 record on the year, the Lakers are shaping up to be a solid opponent; their two losses this season have come against divisional rivals in Queen’s and York.

Nipissing middle Megan Winter (Whitby, Ont.) is the second-most efficient hitter in the league, boasting a .338 hitting percentage and ranked only behind Ryerson’s Vernon. The two dominant middles in Vernon and Winter will face off on Saturday as both teams look to solidify their place in the standings in their final match before the winter break.

First serve on both Friday and Saturday is set for 6:00 p.m. Watch the Rams compete live on OUA.tv, or follow the Ryerson Rams on Twitter (@RyersonRams) for in-game updates.

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