After winning two of their last three contests, the Rams (6-10) put themselves in good position to make a real run for a playoff berth. However, they may have been looking too far ahead, and the consequences were costly as they handed the Lakehead Thunderwolves (1-15) their first victory of the season in their final home game at Kerr Hall Gym last Sunday.
"Credit to Lakehead and Coach Green for being very well prepared and playing very consistently throughout the match," said Head Coach Dustin Reid. "Our number of unforced errors was nearly twice as high as any other (games) we've played this season. We put far too much pressure on ourselves and weren't able to find a rhythm in our offensive game as a team.
The defeat dropped the women two games back of a playoff spot with just as many remaining. Not only would they have to beat two of the top teams in the conference this weekend, but they would still need some help to have a chance of sneaking in the back door to the post-season.
Chelsea Jensen (Georgetown, Ont.) currently leads the Rams with 3.4 points per set (pps), while Chelsea Briscoe (Georgetown) is averaging 3.1 pps. Fellow rookie Emily Nicholishen (Whitby, Ont.) leads the Rams with 143 total kills on the year.
Sitting with a 14-2 record, the Lions have already clinched first-place in the conference heading into the final weekend of the season. Both Ottawa and Queen's have already completed their respective campaigns, and each have a 13-5 record to show for it.
Second-year standout Brandie Wilkerson has put together an MVP-caliber season for the CIS-ranked Lions. She leads the OUA and is seventh in the CIS with 4.1 pps and is fifth in the nation with 3.44 kills per set (kps).
The Varsity Blues (10-6) are still able to improve their current fifth-place standing. A fourth-place finish by the end of the weekend would give Toronto a home playoff game. They will also look to end the season on a high note, as they enter the weekend having lost two straight and three of their past four contests. Charlotte Sider leads the Blues with 3.5 pps.
"We're lucky enough to play to very strong teams this weekend," said Reid. I expect that we will be well-prepared and that we'll represent Ryerson the way we have throughout most of this season; with a great deal of spirit and teamwork. We'll be doing our best to play well, win these matches and finish the season on the most positive note possible. Playing York and Toronto will be a great test for us once again."
Ryerson will head north of the city to play York on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and will close out the regular season against Toronto on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.