By Neal Jones
Ryerson’s men’s volleyball team won silver at their own tournament last weekend and with it a step closer to a successful second half of the season.
After finally getting the York Yeoman monkeys off their backs in the semi finals, the Rams went into Saturday’s gold medal match against the University of New Brunswick on a high note. Unfortunately an undefeated tournament was not in the cards as UNB won the match three games to one.
Despite the loss in the final Rams coach Mirek Porosa was pleased with the team’s performance.
“I’m really happy that not only one starting played strong, but we had 10 guys I could count on,” Porosa said.
The Rams had two players, setter Jamal Thomas and middle hitter Rob Guenette, names to the tournament all-star team.
Thomas’ selection to the team is an important confidence boost for a player who came to Ryerson playing the power position and was switched to setter only two months ago.
Guenette’s selection is a good sign for a team that lost last season’s Athlete of the Year Ryan McNeil. This means Guenette has a big burden placed on him. He is looking forward to the second half of the season.
“We’re looking to finish second or third [in the east],” Guenette said. “Mathematically we’re pretty much out of first [currently held by U of T].”
Porosa was pleased by the win over OUAA east division rival York. The Rams have blown a pair of two games to none leads this year against York. In the semi final the Rams led 12-2 in the third game when York rallied and had the Rams running around the court. Porosa called a timeout which calmed the players and they were able to put York away quickly.
Porosa believes the victory was the most important in the tournament.
“We beat an established team like York and now we have to prove to ourselves that we can do it in league play,” he said.
Team captain Paul Carter thinks this team can challenge for the league title. “We have the ability, but U of T is really good,” he said.
The Varsity Blues lead the OUAA Easy and for the Rams to be successful against the national ranked Blues they will have to keep their focus for the entire match. The Rams’ lack of focus caused them to lose several big leads in the tournament.
Carter agreed that the team’s concentration level is the key if the Rams are to advance in league play and reach the nationals in Calgary. “This team has the ability to go,” Cater said. “When we’re playing the top teams we have to stay focused all the way through though.”