Photo by Christian Bender

Rams sweep Trent during last 2018 home game

By Cara Gilhula

TORONTO - The Rams swept Trent in three straight sets on Friday night at the Coca-Cola Court for their last home game of 2018.

After coming away from three straight sets against RMC and a loss to Queen’s in the fifth set, the Rams were confident and ready to take control of their home court.

With much anticipation, Trent came out strong and excited with every point. As a result, the play was very much back and forth, and there no was no distinct lead until the end when the Rams were able to pull away from the Excalibur.

Xander Ketrzynski (Toronto, Ont.) looked like he never left last game. He swiftly moved on the court, transitioning from defense to offense, and flying across the attack line to leave Trent in their tracks. Ketrzynski had 53 kills in his first three games and after tonight, added another ten to his total.

The Rams took the first set 25 - 21.

Into the second set the Rams were getting more comfortable against Trent, and their confidence was increasing. The Rams were taking advantage of the opening and taking chances to catch Trent off guard. They would rotate the ball from side to side, and instead of kills each time, they would throw in a tip to create chaos amongst the Excalibur defense.

Ketrzynski continued to put the Excalibur in their place and promoted high energy on the court.

Second year veteran, Navreet Suhan (Mississauga, Ont.) was consistent in hitting, blocking, and directing the play throughout the game. With help from Saad Shaikh (Mississauga, Ont.) Suhan had a number of strong kills to keep the Rams momentum.

“I’ve been trying to bring leadership and communication to the team. In terms of skills I bring a lot of blocking and my overall presence, which as a really young group we need a lot of that right now to support each other. But we’re looking to improve and these are things that I know I can do to help out,” said Suhan.

Jordan Baric was also one to find his place on the court. He was tipping, moving into positions when he was needed, and made strong kills. As another second year veteran, it was clear that the experienced players will play a large role for the Rams.

In the end of the second set, rookie Omari Young stepped onto the court, and with the first ball that came to him, he offset Trent with a huge kill for the first of his OUA career.

“I was nervous going out but I'm glad it turned out well. It was very exciting and improved my confidence for the rest of the game knowing I was able to persevere,” exclaimed Young.`

The Rams won the set 25 - 12.

Heading into the third set, Trent presented a different energy and came a little more into their own to challenge the Rams. The entire set the two teams were matched up, with either a tie or with a back and forth lead. It created a need for a team effort to finish off the Excalibur, and the Rams didn’t waste a second.

Young was strong at the net, and made a great block with Sean Shultis (Springfield, Va.) to keep the Rams in the set early on. Young also took advantage of a number of quick sets, and made either a soft or a hard touch to keep Trent on their toes.

Riley Anderson (Cambridge, Ont.) was an asset to the Rams in the third set. He was able to play the ball off of Trent and send them running in an attempt to recover the ball.

Baric also had a great play in the third set. With a tip over the Trent blockers, Baric dropped due to the nature of the hit, and the person who was there to cover the blockers, returned the ball right back to Baric. Luckily, he jumped up and with one swift movement he smashed the ball onto Trent’s side to earn the kill for the Rams.

Trent was able to come back again and again, and eventually tied the match at 25-25.

Trent took the lead at 26-25, but earned a serving error, and the game was tied back up at 26-26. Baric had the serve and Trent was able to return the point. Saad played the ball and Young helped Trent make a mistake, so the Rams lead 27-26. Again, Trent was there for the point to make it tied again at 27-27, except they made another service error, and the Rams were up for another at 28-27. This time it was Young who was up to serve and later in the rally Joel Hannan (Toronto, Ont.) was there for the kill to finish off the Excalibur. The Rams won 29-27 to earn their third straight set.

Looking ahead, the Rams will be on route next weekend to Windsor and Western. They will return home on January 12th, 2019 against the York Lions.

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