Photo by Alex D'Addese

Rams to be challenged in upcoming weekend matchups

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO — The No. 4 Ryerson Rams head into this weekend’s games facing one of the most significant challenges of the season thus far, hosting the Nipissing Lakers on Saturday and visiting the No. 8 Toronto Varsity Blues on Sunday.

Boasting an 8-1 record on the season, the Rams currently sit second in the OUA East division, tied at 16 points with the first-place Varsity Blues.

Ryerson’s Theanna Vernon (Scarborough, Ont.) and Cailin Wark (Georgetown, Ont.) rank first and second in the OUA in hitting percentage, respectively clocking in at .374 percent and .346 percent.

The Rams’ efficient hitters will be tested this weekend against some of the best competition the league has to offer.

Prior to the key matchup on Sunday, the Rams will play host to the struggling Lakers on Saturday. Nipissing has a 3-4 record on the year, currently ranked fifth in the division with only seven games played thus far. The Lakers are coming off three straight losses, one of which came in the form of a sweep at the hands of the Rams before the winter break.

The Rams will be seeking similar results against the Lakers as they meet for the second and final time this season. First serve in Saturday’s game is set for 12:00 p.m. on Ryerson’s Coca-Cola Court.

The next day, the Rams will head uptown to face the Varsity Blues at 3:00 p.m. at Toronto’s Goldring Centre. With two games in hand and an 8-3 regular season record, Toronto sits just ahead of the Rams in the OUA standings. Most recently, the Varsity Blues suffered a 3-2 loss to the undefeated Waterloo Warriors.

The two teams are certainly well matched. The Rams have a slight edge in kills per set (RYE 12.29, TOR 12.26), assists per set (RYE 11.56, TOR 11.49), blocks per set (RYE 2.12, TOR 2.08), and points per set (RYE 16.9, TOR 16.7), but the Varsity Blues hold an advantage in digs per set (RYE 13.85, TOR 16.67).

Statistics aside, the matchup will likely play a significant role in the final regular season standings. The Rams will need to consistently play atop their game if they want to come out with a crucial win against Toronto.

Tickets for Saturday’s game against Nipissing can be purchased here. Both matches will be broadcasted live on OUA.tv, and fans are encouraged to follow the Ryerson Rams on Twitter to receive live in-game updates (@RyersonRams).

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