Rams conquer undefeated Warriors
TORONTO — The No. 5 Ryerson Rams were virtually unstoppable against the No. 4 Waterloo Warriors on Friday night, nailing their execution and earning a 3-1 (25-10, 20-25, 25-14, 25-16) win against the red-hot Warriors at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Ryerson’s win on Friday brought an end to Waterloo’s season-long, 14-game undefeated streak. Leading the attack for Ryerson was Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.), who recorded 18 kills and 10 digs through four sets.
The Rams certainly made their presence known early in the first set, taking a 7-1 to lead in the opening moments of the game and playing at a virtually errorless pace. Ryerson carried their lead through the end of the set, emerging with a dominant 25-10 win in the first. Waterloo would tally just seven kills in the set, pailing in comparison to Ryerson’s 18.
The Warriors took charge in the second set, getting around Ryerson’s block and finding holes in their backcourt. Waterloo edged the Rams 25-20 in the second, earning their only set win of the match.
Waterloo wouldn’t command the court for much longer. Ryerson made light work of the visiting Warriors in the remaining two sets, holding their opponents to 14 and 16 points respectively and earning an impressive 3-1 victory.
The Rams certainly rose to the occasion tonight against Waterloo, becoming the first team in the OUA to do so. Ryerson’s experience and determination were apparent in the victory tonight, says Rams head coach Dustin Reid.
“That was probably our best-executed match of the year,” says Reid. “It was great to see some emotion tonight, and, particularly in the fourth set, that’s as great as we’ve played all season.”
Ryerson’s Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) had 12 kills and five digs in the win, while Brett Hagarty (Aurora, Ont.) commanded the backcourt with a team-leading 18 digs.
Leading the Rams in the middle was captain Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.), who finished the game with six total blocks and 12 kills. Vernon says the victory over Waterloo was both emotional and well-earned for the Rams.
“We were all extremely excited to play [the Warriors],” says Vernon. “Waterloo played a great game, but everything we did tonight worked very well.”
The Rams will be back in action Saturday night against the Guelph Gryphons, facing off at 6:00 p.m. at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.