By John Mather
men’s volleyball — A Record: 18 wins, 2 losses Playoffs: Lost in provincial finals. It was a story-book season without a Remember the Titans ending. The men’s volleyball team did what Ryerson never does: Made it to the provincial championship as favourites. Throughout the season the Rams showed why they finished first in Ontario — less the playoffs. Coach Mirek Porosa’s all-star squad continually drilled the ball through their opponents.
Ryan Vandenburg had another stunning season and earned the Ontario University Athletics’ (OUA) MVP award for the second consecutive year. The team, which will stay intact next year, showcased talented rookies such as Oleh Kovalchuk, the OUA rookie of the year, who will continue the winning tradition. For these reasons the team earned an A. An A+, though, is for champions.
women’s volleyball — C+ Record: 5 wins, 14 losses Playoffs: Fell one game short. It all came down to the last game of the season for the women’s volleyball team. The Rams needed to beat Lakehead in order to advance to the finals but fell short, ending a turbulent season.
The C represents a solid effort, but the Rams still have serious challenges. Communication on the court and consistent passing areneeded. Lily Markovic is expected to return next year and coach Bob Cholette’s new offensive system should start to click. These Rams have a lot of potential.
The team will lose Anjela Wilson, but the core of the starting line-up returns, including captain Erin Gallagher. Look to rookie Jen Williams as the Rams’ future marquee player.
figure skating — B Record: What the judges decide. Playoffs: Finished ninth in the championship. I don’t know much about figure skating, but I do know that it isn’t easy to compete in a sport vulnerable to subjective judging. Still, the figure skating team brought their “mass sass” to every event this season and showed that some Rams can compete on skates. For this, the team earns a B despite their otherwise mediocre standings. If there is anything Ryerson athletics needs, it’s spirit.
And these women have an abundance of it. The team also earns a B for finishing fourth in the last synchronized skating event, beating out the tournament favourites. Mad sass can go further than I ever expected.
men’s hockey — F Record: 1 win, 21 losses, 1 tie Playoffs: Not even close. Utter failure isn’t an easy thing to accomplish. But the hockey team’s abysmal record (40 goals-for versus 159 goals-against) and general attitude made them this year’s best failure. With a few exceptions, the players looked slow and were immature on and off the ice. Coach Mick Mitrovic, who struggled with his young recruits, summed it up after their last game:
“It’s like a train being derailed.” So what does this team have going for it? Well, the Rams will be getting a full-time coach next season. The reasoning flows that this coach will have the time and resources to restore the team to playoff potential. Let’s hope Pat Quinn has no interest in coaching at the university level.
men’s basketball — D+ Record: 3 wins, 19 losses Playoffs: Didn’t qualify. There were moments when the men’s basketball team looked like they had playoff potential. Unfortunately, there were more moments where the team looked tired, slow and disorganized.
In the team’s favour, N’Kruma Hylton, who averaged 12.4 points per game, and Duane Benjamin, who lead with 14.6 points per game, consistently gave it their all on an otherwise cold team. Igor Bakovic, the team’s 6’11” centre had a strong season, but the team needs to round out it’s roster with promising rookies such as Joseph Imbrogno. The Rams lose Benjamin this year, but coach Glenn Taylor has a reputation for strong recruiting. Bring it on, Glenn.
women’s basketball — B- Record: 6 wins, 16 losses Playoffs: Also one game shy. A legitimate contender all season long, the women’s basketball team almost made it to the playoffs. Any team that puts forth a solid effort and makes the postseason is pegged to earn a B. The women are dropped to a B- for losing to Ottawa the second-last game of the season. Had they won, the Rams would have secured a playoff berth.
These are the games that separate the playoff teams from the rest. The Rams determined their fate as the latter by losing 59-47. Coach Sandy Pothier is adding height to the team by recruiting 6’4″ Fiona Kayitesi. She should help fill the void left by graduating players Stephanie Nelson and Justine Navarro.
men’s soccer — F Record: 0 wins, 8 losses, 2 ties Playoffs: Need a win first. I wasn’t sports editor at the time, but any team who does not win a game automatically fails. It’s a basic requirement. The Rams scored only six goals all season and the former golden-footed striker Radu Melnic potted two of them. I asked former sports editor Josh Wingrove to describe what happened: “They had a good year last season when Melnic was leading in scoring.
Then Melnic got injured, and it has been all downhill since then. They could never sustain any pressure, and the defence can’t communicate. The strategy of give-the-ball-to-Radu-and-hope-he-does-something didn’t work. With new recruits and a new season the team should just ‘fuhget aboud’it.'”
fencing — B Record: Finished 6th overall Playoffs: Horia Puscas, Bronze Anyone who plays with swords automatically gets bonus marks. Horia Puscas earning bronze at the final competition pushed the team out of C range into a B.
Dave Buksa, Andrew Cividino and Damien Kent all finished third overall in their respective foil events. I’m not sure what a foil is, though I am certain this is a good result. All three of the above players are graduating, so the team needs to find replacements. If you like to stab things, give it a shot. En garde!
women’s soccer — D+ Record: 1 win, 6 losses, 1 tie Playoffs: Close, but no cigar. Two season wins was all the Rams needed to secure a playoff spot in the OUA. They got one against McMaster University, but lost their last game to Brock 2-1. Overall, the team fought hard to break the losing-stigma that surrounds women’s soccer.
New coach Peyvand Mossavat showed his aptitude for recruiting by nabbing Shannon Ferreira, who scored four of the team’s nine goals and brought an element of speed to the team. Mossavat recruited Ferreira after she played a year in America, and should be bringing in more talent for next year. Still, with only one win to their name the women’s soccer team is given a D+.
badminton — C Record: 1 win, 4 losses Playoffs: Tied for last playoff spot, but McMaster University got it. Despite missing the playoffs, the Badminton team earned three awards: coach of the year, Rob Fullerton; rookie of the year, Ram Anders; and Sherman Lam was named to the Ontario all-star team. So, they get a C.
Foxy Boxing — A++ For having as many players (me and my friend Joe) as the rowing team.