By Noah Love
Women’s volleyball head coach Arif Nathoo did something he’d never been able to do in the past: he beat his former boss.
On Tuesday, Nov. 6, the Rams beat the York University Yeowomen 3-1 (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 25-22). It was the first time any of Nathoo’s Ryerson teams beat York, coached by his former mentor, Hernan Humana.
“It certainly left the team in high spirits,” said Nathoo, now in his seventh year with the Rams.
“It was big for the veterans and the coaches,” said fourth-year middle Mirijana Curic. “We finally showed them we can win.”
Ryerson lost to the Yeowomen in straight sets at the Ryerson invitational in October.
On Friday, they played a lacklustre five-setter, but managed to beat the Brock University Badgers 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 25-13, 22-25, 15-2).
“The game against Brock was an eyeopener,” Nathoo said. “We made some really big mistakes.”
After starting the season 1-3, Nathoo juggled the lineup, giving positional players new assignments on the court, in an effort to create a new team dynamic.
“We got a solid libero from [middle] Stephanie [Brown]” he said. “We’re going to mix it up again.”
Setter Tisha Rouse returned to the lineup after injuring her ankle before the season started. She didn’t start, but filled in various positions at key junctures in the match.
“She’s playing every[where] we need her to,” Nathoo said. “The team is playing well around her.”
The Rams play the University of Toronto and the University of Ottawa this week. Ottawa upset Toronto last weekend. Ryerson lost to the Varsity Blues twice at the October tournament.
“We think we have momentum going into the next few games,” Curic said.
All of Ryerson’s remaining games are on the road.
The men’s team continued their streak of futility.
They lost in straight sets (25-13 25-21, 25-21) to York on Tuesday. Their league record is 0-5. They have won a single match the entire season.
The Rams went 0-12 in OUA play last season. They still qualified for the playoffs when Laurentian University’s team, the fifth team in the Rams’ division, folded.
Since the top four teams made the playoffs and there were only four teams, the winless Rams qualified for the postseason.
That won’t be the case this year. Only the top three teams will make the postseason.
Despite great rookie season from Lukas Porosa and Anton Hauser, as well as the usual all-star play of Sasha Simic, Ryerson can’t seem to take three sets from any team, let alone one set in most matches.
Ryerson have two games remaining before the holiday break (they also played the Toronto Varsity Blues in a game that took place after the paper went to press).
The Rams will have to win this each and every game from here on in if they hope to have any chance of making playoffs this year.