By Josh Wingrove
The Ryerson men’s volleyball team is winning games at the right time and looks to hand York University their first regular season loss.
The team is coming off wins over the universities of Toronto and Waterloo last week, and a victory in York’s own Killer Instinct Excaliber Classic tournament three weeks ago.
The Rams will take their six game winning streak into Wednesday’s home game against York. Last Wednesday, the Rams beat Toronto 3-1 (21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-21), led by Ryan Vandenburg, the Canadian Interuniversity Sports’ kills and points leader.
The latest winning streak has made the Rams the eighth ranked volleyball team in the CIS. York is ranked tenth. Vandenburg finished with 16 kills, three solo blocks, and six digs.
Gregory Marszalek, the Rams’s second year setter, was named player of the game with 50 assists. The Rams (9-3) went on to easily defeat the winless Waterloo Warriors, winning 3-0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-17). Vandenburg again led the team with 13 kills. “We were expecting to win this game,” said Rams head coach Mirek Porosa.
He had set a goal for his team to not allow Waterloo to score more than 20 points in each set, a goal which the team achieved.
“The game is history. We’ve got a big game coming up against York,” Porosa said. The Rams have played York 6 times this season, winning 4 of the matches, but never during regular season play. “Everybody knows we’ve never beaten them in a regular season game,” Vandenburg said. “I think everybody knows what’s on the line.”
Porosa said the teams know each other well, and that winning is more about consistency than surprises. “Every team knows each other very well,” he said. “We just want to be really fresh and aggressive and powerful.”
“There’s that rivalry between us,” Vandenburg said. “Everybody’s going to use that to fire them up for the game.”
The Rams made 22 attacking errors against Toronto, an uncharacteristically inconsistent offensive performance for a team featuring Vandenburg and Anton Hauser, who was named the most valuable player of the York tournament three weeks ago. Porosa said he isn’t worried when players make mistakes, and expects players like Vandenburg to play well against York.
“They are not pro players, they are university athletes,” Porosa said. “(Vandenburg’s) going to be there on Wednesday, I know.” The Rams’s record this season, including preseason and tournament play, improves to 23-6.
They play York this Wednesday and are looking to prove who belongs at the top of the CIS men’s volleyball standings. York will want to win back the top ranking in the OUA, and Vandenburg said the Rams know that.
“They’re going to come into the game fired up. They know what’s on the line, we know what’s on the line,” Vandenburg said. “We’re just looking to keep our winning streak alive.”