By Tracey Tong
It’s crunch time for Ryerson’s women’s volleyball team this week.
By losing 3-0 to the York Yeowomen on Thursday and 3-1 to the Queen’s Golden Gaels on Saturday, the Rams lost a chance to clinch a spot in the postseason.
The Gaels are now 4-9 and in fifth-place in the six-team OUA East Division, four points behind Ryerson, which at 6-8 holds the final playoff position.
Any combination of Ryerson wins and Queen’s losses totalling two will clinch the Rams a second-straight playoff appearance. Queen’s has four games remaining on its schedule, while the Rams have three on the road.
Saturday, the team travels west to take on the 3-11 University of Windsor Lancers. The next day the Rams will be in London for a match with the 13-1 Western Mustangs. The team’s final regular-season game is Feb. 10 against the 6-7 University of Ottawa Gee Gees.
With the games coming up, the Rams are in the middle of an important week of practices. Players and coaches felt that Saturday’s game against Queen’s wasn’t indicative of how well the team can play. “Everyone played badly this weekend,” said head coach Arif Nathoo.
The Rams lost the first game 25-19 and the second 25-21. They rebounded with a 25-16 win, before Queen’s finished the match with a 25-14 win. Second-year business student Jacquie Fler led the Rams with 13 kills and eight digs in the loss.
On Thursday the Rams never had a chance with the East Division-leading Yeowomen. York took the first match by a 25-19 score, before finishing with two 25-17 wins.
If the Rams finish in fourth place they’ll play York again in the OUA division semi-final planned for Feb. 17. The Yeowomen, at 15-1, have already clinched top spot in the division.
But for now the Rams are solely focused on clinching a postseason berth. Players are optimistic about the team’s chances.
“We’ve been working really hard, and lately, we’ve really come together as a team,” said first-year player Allison Millard. “With the playoffs coming, I think it will motivate us to play better.”