By Chelsea Miya
The gold medal in Ryerson’s own Women’s Volleyball Invitational Tournament escaped the Rams for the second year in a row after they lost to Brock University (1-3) in Sunday’s (Sept. 24) final.
Wild serves, even wilder passes, and a few spikes marked the Rams’ play. By the end of the finals, the women seemed to be in a daze, losing the last set 16-25. Ryerson had conquered Brock 3-1, in a face-off just the day before.
In 2005, Coach Bob Cholette led the Ryerson team to silver, their first medal placing in years.
Early in the game, Brock supporters countered a tirade of cat-calls from Rams fans — including “it’s okay to be a loser” and “no wonder your parents don’t love you” — with loud applause for their team.
The Brock Badgers doubled their assault. Captain Megan Young, named Tournament MVP, swept the board with 102 assists. “We won because we were loud,” said Young, with a grin. “Team communication is the key.”
Ryerson’s offense led by Jen Williams, who earned 20 kills, lost the energy that had kept them toe-to-toe with Brock for three previous sets.
“We’re just inconsistent,” said Cholette, who at one point in the game, after a particularly sloppy play, shook his head, and raised both his hands as if to say “What do you want me to do?”
Cholette admitted the team has a problem with communication, but said, “We have a pretty tall team here,” citing his slogan: “Short term pain, for long term gain.”
The women’s volleyball team has set its sights on the University of Montreal Tournament this weekend, where anticipated rookie player Lindsay Franco, who didn’t play this weekend due to an ankle injury, will make her debut.
“It will be a bit hard, yes, because she hasn’t played with her team before,” said Cholette. “With four new players and a new formation we’re trying to do something very complex here.”
Captain Slobodanka Skoric was more vocal in her optimism.
“This tournament was about finding our feet. The introduction of [Franco] will only make our team stronger. I don’t doubt for a second that we will beat Brock if we face them again. As for [the OUA Championships)… we’re gonna make the playoffs!”