Photo by Don Voaklander

Rams cap off 2018-19 season with U SPORTS silver

By Jessica Pincente

EDMONTON — The Ryerson Rams finish the 2018-19 season as national silver medalists after falling 3-2 (25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 20-25, 11-15) to the UBC Thunderbirds in the U SPORTS National Championship on Sunday night in Edmonton.

Ryerson’s Player of the Game and team captain Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) tallied 12 kills and six total blocks in her final career game in the blue and gold.

Ryerson’s opening two sets were something of perfection. The team recorded just one error in the first set, hitting at .381 percent and putting a stop to any and all of the Thunderbirds’ attacks. The Rams would take a 25-14 win in the first and a 25-20 win in the second, going up 2-0 and heading into the third with just 25 points separating them and a national championship.

The Thunderbirds were not going down without a fight, though. The Rams’ attacking seemed to slow, and UBC used this change in pace to their advantage. The Thunderbirds stole away a 25-20 win in the third and then again in the fourth, leaving the Rams in a difficult position heading into the fifth set.

The Thunderbirds continued their stellar play right until the final whistle. In the end, UBC took a 15-11 win in the fifth set to claim the 2019 national title. The Rams would earn a silver medal, the first of its kind for the program.

Back-to-back appearances in the national final was also another first for the program.

Ryerson head coach Dustin Reid says he’s incredibly proud of this team and all their accomplishments this season.

“Now isn’t the time to break down the performance,” says Reid. “Now is the time to celebrate an amazing season. I’ve won a lot of silver medals in my time in sports — I’ve never been in love with one as much as this one.

“To come together the way we have and play at the level we have, it’s incredible. I’m so proud of that and proud of this team.”  

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