Rams end 2016 on a high note
TORONTO - One night after a thrilling five set loss to the No. 2 Toronto Varsity Blues on home court, the Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball swept the Trent Excalibur (25-14, 26-24 25-17) at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday.
The win was the Rams’ sixth in their last seven games. They end the first half of the season with a record of 6-3 and will begin the 2017 portion of the schedule second in the OUA East.
Trent, meanwhile, falls to 2-5 in their first season as an OUA team. They’ll clash with the Varsity Blues at the Goldring Centre in Toronto Sunday afternoon to wrap up their first semester of play.
Following a strong opening set to get out to a 1-0 lead, Ryerson faltered a bit in the second. With some of the Rams starters on the bench and a few new faces on the floor, the home side initially struggled to find their rhythm offensively. Down 22-19 late in the set, Ryerson got things figured out. They scored seven of the next nine points to avoid the upset and take it 26-24.
Great ball distribution by setter Kate McIlmoyle (London, Ont.) and some crucial kills by Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.), Kristine Yan (Markham, Ont.) and Jena Bonello (Vaughan, Ont.) down the stretch helped the Rams complete the comeback. Having learned their lesson against a scrappy Excalibur side, Ryerson refused to take their foot off the gas in the third.
Up 14-13, Yan served eight straight points (four of which were aces) to put the Rams up 22-13. From there, three kills by Veronica Livingston (Kelowna, B.C.) allowed Ryerson to take the set 25-17 and complete the sweep.
Livingston led all players with 13 kills while Vernon added seven and Bonello six. McIlmoyle finished with 30 assists and contributed five of the Rams’ 14 service aces in the match.
On the other side of the net, Celina Kegels and Camile Garzon paced Trent’s offence with six kills each. The Excalibur’s Monique Sheehan collected a game-high eight digs.
NOTES: Eleven different players hit the floor for Ryerson during the match as head coach Dustin Reid gave a large portion of his roster the opportunity to gain some more experience at the OUA level… The game was Livingston’s fourth straight with a double-digit total in the kills department. She currently sits fifth in the province with 89 kills this season… Another strong performance by Vernon boosts her hitting percentage to .354 overall and into second in the OUA in that category. Teammate Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) sits fourth with a mark of .330.