Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams shine with confidence in fifth set comeback

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO - The Rams fought until the very end to take down the Waterloo Warriors 3-2 (19-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-14, 15-9) on Friday night at the Coca-Cola Court.

Xander Ketrzynski lead the game with 23 kills and Joel Hannan was right behind with 12.

The first set began with the Warriors adjusting to Ryerson’s offence, creating problems for the Rams, but not without a fight. The Rams were up for the block during each opportunity. Gregory Vukets and Navreet Suhan effortlessly placed the ball and made sure the Rams were motivated to come back after each point, especially as mistakes were made to put the Rams down at the technical 16-12 and a final loss of 25-19.

“Whenever you're an upper year, the younger years know they can look up to you in certain situations that they have not been in before. Some of these guys have never been in fifth sets like this, so you just have to remind them to keep playing their game. Sometimes you have to be aggressive with them to get the message across, but it’s always out of love,” said Suhan.  

During the second set, Isaac McKeague was effective on the offense beside Xander Ketrzynski. Together the duo helped put the Rams ahead of the Warriors at the technical at 16-15, and maintained a consistent back and forth set. However, the Rams were frustrated with their mistakes they were making and the Warriors took the lead for their second win of the game at 25-20.

Second year player, Suhan said, “I think we were in it despite being down 2-0. They weren’t really doing anything special, we were just making more mistakes and giving them the opportunity to win this set. So, I said, ‘Hey guys, look. If you want to stick around and play volleyball, then let’s do this.”

Truly, everything came down to the third set and that is when things changed for the Rams. Waterloo came out hard, but the Rams came out harder, filling the necessary holes and striking with efficiency. The Rams lead 16-13 at the technical, and started to find their confidence as a team back on the court. Plays were happening between Hannan and Ketrzynski, who always seemed to be there to finish the point. Ketrzynski was also there for the block with Suhan to help the Rams come away with their first win during the showing at 25-23.

After taking one from the Warriors, the Rams were happy to take another in the fourth. Right off the top the Rams advanced and pushed the Warriors to lose some of their energy and make their own errors. With great movement by Omari Young and Saad Shaikh, the Rams were quick to be up 16-9 at the technical and take the set at 25-15.

The fifth set saw great action from both teams, but the Rams were playing smart and confidently. They continued to find their openings, rally and make outstanding plays. Sean Shultis was there for a number of tips, Young had a number of kills and blocks, and Suhan continued to be a leader on the court. The Rams won 15-9 in the fifth set for a great comeback win against the Warriors.

Tomorrow the Rams will host the Guelph Gryphons at 8:00 p.m. on the Coca-Cola Court.

“We're going to rest up, take care of ourselves tonight, and watch some video on Guelph because they have a good, young team as well. We will have the same mentality that we had going into this game, that we want the league to notice us. We know people are doubting us because we are a really young team, but after this weekend we want to sweep these western league teams that everyone thinks are the stronger teams in the OUA, and I think we can do that,” states Suhan.

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