Volleyball team vaults into playoff spot

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By Joel Wass 

The Ryerson women’s volleyball team kept their home court clean this weekend, sweeping their two game series with struggling Lakehead University.

On Saturday the Rams beat Lakehead 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-23) and used Sunday to square away a perfect weekend, defeating the Thunderwolves again 3-0 (25-16, 25-22, 25-20).

“I’m happy with our play,” said Ryerson head coach Arif Nathoo. “We stayed composed, we ran a few more plays. We didn’t drop to the level of our opponents. They’re better than what they showed us today, but we’ll take the wins.”

Lowering their play against weaker opposition has been a constant bump during the Rams’ ride through regular season play.

“It’s hard to keep the same emotion against a weaker team,” said setter Tisha Rouse. “We need to learn how to stay focused. If we don’t that’s when things go wrong.”

Ryerson has eliminated most of their early season troubles. At 7-6, they have moved up to fourth place in the OUA east division. The top four teams in the division make playoffs.

Right now, the Rams have the same number of wins as second-place Toronto and third place Queen’s University.

“Everybody has their own individual challenges,” said middle attacker Marijana Curic.

“As a team our only challenge is to make the playoffs and now we’re on our way.”

Curic believes it was the break during the holiday season that allowed her team’s consistency to elevate from underachieving to inspired.

“Our team has done a [turnaround] since the Christmas break,” said Curic about her team’s 3-1 record since the beginning of the second semester. “We finally seem to be playing at our highest level.”

Team captain Elizabeth Reid continued to improve her play on Sunday by leading the Rams on offence with 13 kills.

Jacquie Fler picked up 9 kills of her own, including Sunday’s match winner that sent Lakehead back north with two losses.

Following the big weekend wins, three is now the number for Ryerson to keep its focus on.

“That’s our magic number,” says Curic referring to the number of wins the Rams need before they can clinch a playoff berth. “We’re at three, now we just got to knock it down to zero.”

The Rams will try to lower the magic number on Sat. February 2 at McMaster University and Feb. 3 at Guelph University. Both games at a 2 p.m. start time.

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