By Amit Shilton
Last season, with Ryerson’s first ever OUA title hanging in the balance, the Rams’ men’s volleyball team faced off against Queen’s University and with everything on the line, they choked.
The team quickly went into rebuilding mode, bringing in a wave of great players including overseas talent and former University of Manitoba setter Patrick Corriveau.
A trip to Poland was scheduled where the squad would not only match up against the national Polish team, which they held their own against, but also build team chemistry. Last weekend however, the Rams showed that maybe some things never change.
After barely making it to the finals of their annual invitational tournament on Sunday, the Rams folded like a cheap suit to the Western Mustangs in three quick sets. The team played a sloppy brand of volleyball, making errant passes, wild serves and other careless errors.
This certainly didn’t seem like the team that was supposed to be even better than last year’s, which tore through the competition during the regular season. In their two meetings last season, the Rams didn’t even drop a single set to the Mustangs.
“If you’re peaking in the first month you’re not going to be a championship team,” said Corriveau, who on more than one occassion was caught setting the ball up to no one. It was clear he was still getting used to his new team.
Coach Mirek Porosa said that the team still needs to get used to playing competitively but that the season is still a long one with many games left.
“It’s still adjusting time,” Porosa said. “Now they are student athletes again.”
There were however, some encouraging signs over the weekend. Rookie setter Cam Bartlett subbed in to start the third set of the finals and held his own, picking up four digs in an impressive performance. In comparison, former all-star libero Lukas Porosa, who played nearly the entire game, had nine digs with four ball handling errors.
Heading into a long stretch of tournaments at several other universities, the Rams will have to pick up their level of play as a whole if they plan on winning.
“Any team can beat us if we play like that,” said middle Nic Beaver who was coming off an injury. “It’s just going to take time, that’s all it is.”