By Shi Davidi
It took a slap in the face to help the men’s volleyball team overcome a 2-0 deficit to defeat Humber College 3-2 and place third in Ryerson’s Invitational Volleyball Tournament Saturday.
Ryerson finished the round robin tourney 0-3, losing 3-2 to McMaster University and 3-1 to the university of Guelph and Humber. McMaster defeated Guelph 3-1 in the tournament final.
The Rams played listless volleyball for the first two sets of the consolation final, losing by scores of 15-4, 15-6. But they began taking the match personally after setter MIke Chumbley was hit square in the face by a Humber spike.
“It definitely motivated me,” said the rookie. “Their players were talking a lot of garbage which stirred our pride. When I got hit in the face it sparked me.”
The Rams’ passing and defense, erratic early in the tournament, improved dramatically and Chumbley put the ball up where the Rams hitters could drill it.
“When he’s (Chumbley) on, he puts a beautiful ball up for you,” said rookie power Jeremy Noble, who was named the tournament’s best outside hitter.
Middles Ryan Carpenter and Brian Forrest made their presence felt by making key blocks, while powers Kimmo Hamalainen and Mark Reid delivered key hits as the Rams won the final three games by scores of 15-6, 15-13, 15-9.
“We played without emotion the first two games,” said Carpenter. “When it got personal we played with a lot of emotion and it showed. Mike (Chumbley) set the best he has ever set. We joked about hitting him in the face more often.”
The comeback win was an important confidence builder for the Rams, who blew a 2-0 lead and several match points against McMaster in the round robin.
The Rams played simple consistent volleyball in the first two games against McMAster, winning by scores of 15-13, 15-12. But their fundamentals disappeared after building a 14-11 lead in the third game. Before they could recover McMaster stormed back to win three straight 16-14, 15-7,17-15.
|It was our inexperience,” said coach Mirek Porosa. “Our mental toughness, which you need to win those games, comes with experience. They learned though and they came back against Humber.”
The Rams focus now shifts to fighting for the final Ontario University Athletics East playoff spot. They are currently tied with Laurentian University. The winner of the Jan. 31 match between the two will likely advance to the playoffs. The Rams will host that pivotal game. The season series is tied 1-1, with both teams winning at home.
Ryerson’s league record is a woeful 1-4. Their overall record is a losing one as well at 8-16. The Rams visit the University of Toronto and York University this week.