Women volleyballers clinch playoff spot

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By Tracey Tong

Ryerson’s women’s volleyball team is playoff-bound thanks to its 3-0 victory over Windsor on Saturday.

After the Queen’s Golden Gaels lost a 3-1 decision to Wilfrid Laurier on Wednesday, the Rams needed just one win to ensure they’d finish in no worse than fourth spot in the OUA East Division and secure a second straight postseason appearance.

The Rams are now 7-9 on the year, while Queen’s is 5-10. Although the Golden Gaels could tie Ryerson if they win their final two games and Ryerson loses its last, the Rams would be granted fourth place since they won four of seven games played in their two matches against Queen’s this year.

“We’ve made history yet again,” head coach Arif Nathoo said on Sunday, after returning home from a 3-0 loss to the Western Mustangs in London — a game that had no playoff implications.

“Winning is a big thing for Ryerson. Between our team and the men’s basketball team, universities are looking at Ryerson athletics as a major contender now.”

Last season, the Rams ended a 25-year playoff drought by finishing fourth, but they were eliminated after two straight losses in a playoff tournament to west-division teams Wilfrid Laurier and Guelph.

This year, the Rams will play a division rival in a sudden-death playoff game planned for Feb. 17. A win there would put them in the OUA final-four tournament, scheduled for Feb. 24 and 25 at a west-division school.

The outcome of the Rams’ final regular-season game, this weekend at the University of Ottawa GeeGees, will determine who they play in the semifinal.

A win over the GeeGees would bump the team into third place, ensuring it a date with the second-place University of Toronto Varsity Blues. A loss would force Ryerson to play the division-leading York Yeowomen.

The thought of playing either team doesn’t scare Nathoo. His team has beaten nationally ranked squads such as Toronto and Wilfrid Laurier this year. But he acknowledged that inconsistency has been a problem at times, as the team has also lost to some of Ontario’s weaker teams.

“They have to cop an attitude and learn how to walk in with that attitude to win,” he said. “anything can happen in the playoffs.”

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