WINDSOR, Ont. - According to Google Maps, it’s nearly four hours to get from Ryerson University to the St. Denis Centre, the home of the Windsor Lancers women’s volleyball team. That’s quite the trip for one game. So, you can’t really blame the Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team for wanting to get as much court time as possible in a thrilling five set victory (19-25, 25-22, 25-18, 17-25, 15-13) over the Lancers Saturday afternoon.
After dropping the opening set, Ryerson’s head coach Dustin Reid had first-year setter Mady Timpany (Woodstock, Ont.) begin the second in favour of Kate McIlmoyle (London, Ont.). The move gave the Rams a different offensive look and it worked early on. Timpany distributed the ball well and a number of Ryerson attacks found the floor.
Veronica Livingston (Kelowna, B.C.) picked up a crucial kill to make it 21-20 for the Rams. From there, the Lancers made a few errors of their own and Ryerson’s Kristine Yan finished things off with a kill out-of-system for the 25-22 victory.
The Rams continued to battle in a back-and-forth third set. Like the did all afternoon, Windsor’s back row, led by libero Carleigh Bailey, refused to let anything hit the floor. With McIlmoyle playing well in the two spot, Ryerson kept their composure though and took a 2-1 lead after a beautiful tip by Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) ended the set 25-18.
The third set was followed by a tough fourth for the Rams. They picked up with more attack errors than kills while the Lancers’ experienced offence took over. A 25-17 win for Windsor forced the fifth and final set to 15.
Following two straight points by the Lancers to cut Ryerson’s advantage to 13-12, Reid took a timeout to break Windsor’s momentum and settle his squad. The move worked as the next rally ended with a quick set to Veltman that she smashed to the floor. Down 14-12, the Lancers’ Jade Ziebarth kept her side alive with a nice kill out-of-system to make it 14-13. Then, Livingston finished things off for the Rams with a spike off the hands of the Windsor block and out to win it for Ryerson.
Livingston had a game-high 20 kills while Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) added nine and Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) eight. Julie Longman contributed 15 of the Rams’ season-high 73 digs. McIlmoyle collected 44 assists while Timpany added six.
Ziebarth led the Lancers with 17 kills while Bailey had a game-high 22 digs.
Ryerson isn’t back in action until Friday, November 25th when they meet the University of Toronto at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on OVA Club Day. The Rams began their season with a loss to the Varsity Blues in straight sets at the Goldring Centre and will look for a better result against the defending OUA and national champions.
First serve on Coca-Cola Court is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.
Vernon earned up her 500th career regular season point in the contest and is now sitting at 501.5… A total of 12 different players hit the floor during the game for Ryerson… Longman’s impressive defensive performance keeps her amongst the best in the province in digs and digs/set. Her 95 digs this season and 4.13 digs/set are second and third in the province.