Rams ready to battle Mustangs in OUA semifinal
TORONTO — For the second consecutive season, the no. 1 Ryerson Rams are preparing to face off against the Western Mustangs in the OUA semifinal.
The Rams will be looking to punch their ticket to the league’s gold medal game and defend the program’s first provincial banner on Friday evening. Ryerson will hit the court against Western at 8:30 PM in Waterloo’s Physical Activities Complex.
A dominant 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-10) win over the Windsor Lancers last weekend saw the Rams secure a spot in the OUA Final Four for the fourth consecutive season. This weekend, Ryerson will face off in a much tighter matchup, taking on the Mustangs in a one-and-done semifinal on Friday night.
The Rams suffered one of their two losses on the year to the Mustangs on November 17, 2019. Ryerson struggled to maneuver their attacks around Western’s block and
Western capped off their 2018-19 campaign on an eight-game winning streak and went on to take a 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-22, 26-24) win over the Queen’s Gaels in the OUA quarter-final last weekend.
On the court, the Mustangs saw a lot of blocking success this season, finishing the year ranked third in the league in blocks per set (2.23). Western is also home to several strong servers, averaging 2.33 service aces per set.
Western fourth-year middle hitter Kelsey Veltman (Brampton, Ont.) is in the midst of a season for the ages, finishing the year ranked second in the OUA in hitting percentage (.344 percent), third in kills per set (3.58), and fifth in blocks per set (0.88). Veltman will be a crucial offensive threat for the Mustangs as they look to take down the no. 1 Rams.
The Rams will need to ensure Veltman’s attacks are controlled in the middle while still utilizing their own offensive weapons if they want to secure their place in the OUA Final.
A win against Western would also guarantee the Rams a spot in the 2019 U SPORTS National Championship, hosted by the University of Alberta from March 15-17.
The game will be broadcasted live on OUA.tv. Be sure to follow the Ryerson Rams on Twitter (@RyersonRams) for in-game updates.