By Nicolas Heffernan
As he paced the sidelines, shaking his head with his arms folded across his chest, Ryerson’s women’s volleyball coach, Bob Cholette, was the picture of frustration.
But after having seen some of the best and worst his team has to offer in its straight set loss on Saturday against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, Cholette understands success is not going to come overnight for his young squad.
“We’re a very young team and we showed flashes of brilliance, but there were also moments of inconsistency,” Cholette said. “We’re relying on a core of first and second-year players so it’s going to take time.”
The Rams stormed out to a quick 9-0 lead in the first set, but the Gee-Gees rallied to tie the game at 11, en route to winning the opening set 25-22. The second set started much like the first, ending with the Gee-Gees opening a quick 8-2 lead.
However, the Rams had no reply and the visitors won the set comfortably, 25-15. Similarly in the third set the Gee-Gees raced out to a 6-1 lead. But the Rams fought back and eventually took an 8-7 lead into the technical timeout.
When the Rams looked as if they might go on a run to take the set, the experience of the Gee-Gees took over. “Their three best players are all in their fourth year and you could see that they’re calm and know how to handle the pressure,” Cholette said.
As the Gee-Gees began to reassert themselves, they never really looked in danger of losing and won the set 25-18. Despite the loss, Cholette believes the team can take some positives out of the game.
“We didn’t make the same mistakes later in the game that we made in the beginning. I think we’re progressing well,” Cholette said. One constant bright spot for the Rams is Jennifer Williams, who put in another stellar performance for the Rams with 10 kills and 11 digs.
Alyson Mann added eight digs. The Rams (3-10) still hold the final playoff spot but are hanging on to a slim two-point lead over Lakehead University. Cholette says consistency for his young team will be essential as they leave for two road games against the Waterloo Warriors (7-5) and Guelph Gryphons (6-7) on Jan. 20 and 21. They return home on Jan. 26 to play the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.