By Amit Shilton
The difference between good teams and great teams is that great teams always find a way to win no matter what the circumstances.
On Friday night, the Ryerson men’s volleyball team proved why it’s a great team.
The Rams took care of the Western Mustangs in a 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-23) win at their home opener last Friday night.
“At times when we weren’t sharp, (the players) found a way to win and that shows maturity as a team,” said Rams head coach Mirek Porosa. “I’m happy with how they maintained an intensity and stuck together.”
The Rams couldn’t be blamed for their cool performance, considering the team couldn’t practice due to ongoing convocation ceremonies.
“If you don’t practice two days before the game, it’s obviously going to show,” he said.
The Rams win against Western was especially important after the Ryerson side lost to the Mustangs in the final of the Ryerson Invitational tournament earlier this year.
“We remembered in our own tournament losing to them in the final three straight,” said Rams left side Roger Marszalek. “Finally, we showed them who’s boss.”
Rams all-star right side Ryan Vandenburg said he treated the game as all business. “It’s not really a revenge thing, we just knew we had to beat this team,” he said after picking up a game-high 17 kills and 19 points. Rams rookie middle Chris McLaughlin put together an excellent job coming off the bench, which didn’t go unnoticed by his coach or teammates.
“Chris came in and played amazing. He got a bunch of aces and some blocks,” Vandenburg said. “We couldn’t slow down their big guy and Chris came in and did the job.”
McLaughlin said he felt stressed playing as a rookie in the team’s home opener.
“I don’t expect a whole lot of playing time so any chance I get I love it,” he said.
Porosa has shown he isn’t afraid to use the bench, which has been key to the Rams’ success.
“That’s a big thing,” Vandenburg said. “We can play the bench and we can win that way.”
The women’s volleyball team let their losing streak slide last weekend, dropping both of their games in three sets.
The Rams lost 3-0 (25-15, 25-13 and 30-28) in a sloppy performance to Western on Friday and lost another to Windsor (25-20, 25-20, 25-13) on Saturday night.
Jen Williams led the Rams offensively in both games, knocking down a game-high 10 kills in the Rams’ loss to Western on Saturday and nine against the Windsor Lancers on Sunday.
Tara Digiuseppe led the Rams on the defensive end, picking up a team-high 14 digs in Saturday’s game and six digs in Sunday’s.
The Rams have now dropped their record to 2-4, putting them in fourth place in the OUA East division.