Usual Suspects Help Rams Complete Comeback
TORONTO - Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) and Veronica Livingston (Kelowna, B.C.) each picked up 13 kills as the Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team erased a 2-1 deficit to defeat the York Lions in five sets (25-21, 23-25, 19-25, 25-13, 15-11) Saturday afternoon at the Tait McKenzie Centre.
Rookies Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) and Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) added seven and six of their own while Kate McIlmoyle (London, Ont.) and Mady Timpany (Woodstock, Ont.) combined for 46 assists.
Neither team got off to a hot start in this one. Both sides racked up ten hitting errors in the opening set. The difference was the fact the Rams had ten kills compared to the Lions’ eight. Four straight points while Kristine Yan (Markham, Ont.) served put Ryerson up 24-17 before a kill by Livingston a few plays later ended it.
In the second set, the Rams jumped out to a quick 14-9 advantage but some mistakes allowed York to get back into it. Tied at 23, the Lions’ Sarah Williams picked up a crucial kill to give York the edge. An attack error by Ryerson during the next sequence secured York’s victory and knotted things up at one set apiece.
The Lions carried that momentum into the third. Up 21-18, kills by Heather Setka, Rachel Adams and Setka once again put York up six. Shortly thereafter, another big finish by Setka finished off the set and gave the Lions a 2-1 lead.
With their backs against the wall and in need of a win to force a fifth set, the Rams stepped up. Offence from a variety of sources for Ryerson and some errors by York helped the Rams breeze to the 25-13 victory. Ryerson finished the set with their best kill percentage of the afternoon (0.281) on 13 kills and only four errors.
It was clear that the Rams’ offence was now settled in. McIlmoyle continued to make great decisions with the ball and in the end a Livingston kill secured the 15-11 win in the fifth set.
Setka led the Lions with a game-high 15 kills while Celeste Witzell added 11. Kirsten Dillon finished with 37 assists.
The victory continues Ryerson’s hot play from the end of 2016 into this year. They’ve now won seven of their last eight and sit second in the OUA East division with a 7-3 record. York, meanwhile, drops to 5-4 and into fourth place.
The Rams aren’t back in action until next Saturday when they travel to North Bay to take on the Nipissing Lakers (4-3). First serve at the Robert J Surtees Student Athletics Centre flies at 6:00 p.m.
The win extends Ryerson’s regular season winning streak against the Lions to seven straight. Their last loss to York was on October 26th, 2013… On top of that, the loss was the Lions’ first at home this season. They’re now 4-1 at the Tait McKenzie Centre… The Rams will finally return to the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Friday, January 27th when they host the Queen’s Gaels.