Photo by Christian Bender

Rams overcome first set fault to defeat Guelph

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO — Despite a hiccup in the first set of the match, the Ryerson Rams would earn a 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 29-27, 25-13) win over the Guelph Gryphons at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday night.

Rams outside hitter Lauren Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) recorded a team-leading 15 kills through four sets against Guelph.

The Gryphons would take a lead early in the first set, pulling ahead 4-0 and forcing several Ryerson errors. Though they would battle back and tie the game at 10, the Rams seemed frustrated at times and struggled to attack. Guelph would take a 25-21 win in the first; Ryerson totaled a game-high seven errors in the set, hitting at .000 percent with seven kills on 27 attempts.

“The Gryphons serve and defend very well and they’re very difficult to play against,” said Rams head coach Dustin Reid. “Full credit to Guelph for the win in the first set.”

The Rams found their groove in the second set, going up 5-0 early on and maintaining their lead throughout. Communication seemed to be lacking on the Rams’ side of the court, but the team still managed to earn a 25-22 victory in the second.

The third saw continued back-and-forth action, but it was the Rams who emerged with a hard-fought 29-27 win in the set.

Ryerson continued to dominate through the entirety of the fourth set. Veltman would tally the final kill of the game as Ryerson took a 25-13 win in the fourth and a 3-1 match victory.

With two back-to-back wins on the weekend, the Rams secured a first-place division finish with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.

Veltman says the Rams learned a few crucial lessons throughout the weekend.

“We learned that, no matter what, you can’t overlook any team in this league,” says Veltman. “We have to be fully prepared for every team we’re going to face from now on.”

Rams captain Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) finished the game with six total blocks, bringing her season total up to 91. Vernon previously owned the program’s single-season blocks record, but her 2018-19 totals surpass all three records she set in each of her last three seasons.

The Rams will hit the road next weekend for their final road trip of the regular season, taking on the Lakehead Thunderwolves on Sunday, February 17th at 2:00 p.m.

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