By Shi Davidi
With the fury and rage of a bitter ex-girlfriend, the University of Toronto Blues dumped the men’s volleyball team from the playoffs on Valentine’s Day.
The Blues played error-free volleyball for most of the match and their overpowering serves gave the Rams passing problems all night. Still, the Rams had their chances to win, but blew a 9-5 lead in the second game and failed on three game points in the third. If a couple of controversial calls had gone their way it could easily be Ryerson in the OUAA East final.
“The second game was the deciding game,” said Coach Mirek Porosa, who was visibly shaken after the loss. “We had a chance to finish them off, but then the interpretation of the referee… If we had won the game, the pressure would have been off and everybody would have relaxed.”
On a bang-bang play the referee could have called U of T for a lift or the Rams for a net violation. It appeared the lift happened first, but the referee saw it differently.
The Rams lost focus and, before they could recover, the Blues had won the game 15-12 on another controversial call. The referee overruled his line judges and called the Rams for the last touch on an out of bounds ball on game point.
The Rams jumped out early in the third and again ended up on the wrong side of a call. The Blues were finally able to sweep the match with a 16-14 victory.
Team captain Paul Carter played his final game as a Ram Friday, finishing his four-year career on a down note. “It’s disappointing,” he said. “This was my best season here. I feel like I miss it already.”
Setter Jamal Thomas said, “We showed up too late. Honestly, with the team we have we underachieved.”
Thomas’ progression as a setter bodes well for the team next year. After Friday’s loss U of T setter Jeff Chung, one of the best setters in the CIAU and a nationally carded player, complimented Thomas on a good season.
The Rams now have all summer to find a way to bring their talent and skill together.