Rams swept by No. 3 Marauders
TORONTO - Despite a resilient effort, the Ryerson Rams were no match for the No. 3 McMaster Marauders in OUA regular season men’s volleyball action at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Wednesday night.
A 14 kill performance by McMaster’s Jayson McCarthy seemed to consistently be the difference in this one as the Marauders took it in straight sets (25-20, 25-19, 25-23). Whenever things were close and McMaster required a big point, the fifth year outside hitter came through for them.
In the opening set, the two sides went back-and-forth before a huge left-handed attack on the right side by McCarthy sent the Marauders to the technical timeout up 16-14. Shortly thereafter, he picked up a couple of service aces to put his squad up 18-14. That was a difference that the Rams couldn’t come back from as a Danny Demyanenko smash gave McMaster the 25-20 victory.
The second set was more of the same. Some more great scrambling by Ryerson out of system required the Marauders to be persistent. Two service aces in a row by McCarthy put McMaster up 9-5. The Rams clawed back once again though. Kills by Brett Whitley (Brighton, Ont.) and Uchenna Ofoha (Markham, Ont.) squared things up at 12. Then, for the second straight set, a kill by McCarthy sent the two teams to the technical timeout. On this occasion, he went cross court from the right side to give the Marauders a 16-13 edge. McMaster refused to give up that advantage and took it 25-19 to go up 2-0. The set ended with a huge block by Demyanenko alongside, you guessed it, McCarthy.
If the Marauders wanted a short night, Ryerson refused to easily hand it to them in the third set. Tied at 15 points apiece, McCarthy came through with yet another big swat down the line from the right side to send McMaster to the technical timeout with the lead for the third straight set. The Rams would stay within a point or two for the rest of the set, but couldn’t string together the necessary run to overtake the Marauders. In the end, Ryerson simply ran out of time as McMaster’s Pete Khodkevych found the floor with his attack to make it 25-23 and end the game.
Demyanenko finished with eight kills and two blocks while the Marauders’ Craig Ireland contributed eight of his own.
The Rams’ Lucas Coleman (Brooklin, Ont.) collected a team-high 12 kills while Adam Anagnostopoulos had a game-high 22 assists.
“It’s a confidence thing,” said Anagnostopoulos when asked about the positives his team can take out of the loss. “We haven’t seen McMaster all year. It’s actually nice to see them on the court, play with them and just see the fact that we’re there. Maybe not yet, but come the playoffs we’ll be ready to go and we’ll be fine tuning some things now.”
Ryerson falls to 10-5, but they remain atop the OUA East division. The York Lions (9-3) currently sit in second with three games in hand.
Meanwhile, McMaster (the reigning national silver medallists) improve to 12-0 and widen their gap on the second place Guelph Gryphons (8-4) in the OUA West.
The Rams will look to rebound Saturday night when they travel to Peterborough, Ont. to clash with the Trent Excalibur (0-12). First serve at the Trent Athletics Centre is set to fly at 8:00 p.m.
NOTES: Coleman’s strong performance in the loss keeps him on top of the OUA Individual Leaderboard in kills per set. He’s averaging 4.40 so far this season… Ryerson has now lost their last five regular season matchups to the Marauders in straight sets… The Rams’ home record drops to 5-3.