HAMILTON, Ont. - The Ryerson Rams went to Hamilton Friday night to make a statement against the defending OUA Champions McMaster Marauders. In doing so, they have set the tone for the 2017-2018 season.
Claiming the 3-1 victory on the road to kick off the season, the victory marks the Rams first against the Marauders since a 3-2 thriller on November 4th, 2011. A nearly six year streak has been broken in dramatic fashion as the Rams look towards the rest of their season knowing what they are capable of.
The match opened with a 25-17 set claimed by McMaster. Fifth-year senior Brandon Koppers (Georgetown, Ont.) took command of his team into the early lead, and would eventually become among the match’s top scorers with 18 points.
It was the Rams’ experienced fifth-year seniors who would make a splash to keep things close and competitive. Lucas Coleman (Brooklin, Ont.) scored a game-high 19 points, coupled with a defensive prowess of 9 digs to carry his preseason success into the regular season.
A safe 25-18 claiming of the second set would be the last sure victory, as the scores and intensity tightened up. McMaster edged closer to an equalizer before Simon Davis-Power (Conception Bay South, Nfld.) denied them the opportunity and gave the Rams a 2-1 advantage.
The final set saw McMaster make a final charge at the victory. With back and forth scoring runs keeping it a guessing game as to who held the advantage, a pair of McMaster errors after a late 23-23 tie saw the Rams take the thriller 3-1 off of a nail-biting 25-23 fourth set.
“I think for us this first game is going to be a great measuring stick,” Rams coach Adam Simac said of the matchup earlier this week. With that in mind, this season opening victory only hints at what’s to come for this Rams lineup.