By Neal Jones
Ryerson’s men’s volleyball team was spiked over the holidays by the news that last year’s Athlete of the Year, Ryan McNeil, was dropping out of school. McNeil, who hasn’t played this year due to a shoulder injury, was offered a scholarship from Louis University in Chicago.
McNeil himself would not comment on the situation when asked at Ryerson’s volleyball tournament last weekend. But Rams assistant coach Seih Hacioglu still believes this team is strong to compete with the top teams.
“This doesn’t have an effect on the team,” he said. “It won’t be an issue. We have enough guys right now to get the job done.”
Losing a player of McNeil’s ability does hurt the hopes of this year’s team. Coach Mirek Porosa had high hopes for the year and those plans included McNeil.
But Hacioglu thinks the loss of McNeil hurts the team emotionally.
“It’s a moral loss. We’re losing a teammate,” he said. “They [the team] all know we have a job to do and they’ll have to do it with or without Ryan.”
No matter what the coaches and players say, the fact remains that losing last year’s top athlete at Ryerson and an OUAA all-star drastically alters the ability of the Rams to challenge for the school’s first national championship.”