By Alex Lombardi
After posting an ugly 5-15 record last year, the men’s volleyball team is ready for a bounce back season with an eye on the playoffs.
“I’m really excited,” said second-year libero and team captain Robert Earl. “Last year was a rebuilding year with a lot of raw guys. We’ve got a bunch of new guys, and this year is definitely going to be a good, competitive year.”
Along with Earl and a slate of talented rookies, the Rams will have some excellent offensive weapons returning to the court this season. Fifth-year right-side hitter Chris McLaughlin will be back in action after finishing third in the OUA with 4.25 points-per-game and fourth in kills with an astonishing 245.
Players like McLaughlin and Earl are the kind of players head coach Mirek Porosa will lean on, hoping they will set an example for his young team. He hopes their hard work on and off the court will rub off on the six new players.
“This is a very skilled team,” said coach Porosa. “They are very talented, very physical and they are very good students at the same time, and are still a very young team for the CIS. Obviously, you have to have more patience, spend more time explaining and a lot of on and off court teaching.”
Porosa said to keep your eye on their new setter, first-year biology student Aleksa Miladinovic — and at 6’5” how can you miss him.
“I think he has good things lined up in front of him,” said Porosa.
Porosa said that the Queen’s University Gaels and McMaster Marauders are the early favourites to go deep in the playoffs this year. This comes as no surprise, as the two teams have shared the last five OUA championships.
“Queen’s is going to be the team to beat, because they have many returning players with a lot of experience,” he explained.
There is hope for our Rams though. With an increased stress on recruiting, Ryerson attracted some promising talent to their roster.
“The level of the OUA has really evened up and anyone can beat anybody. Eight or nine teams out of the eleven can win on any given day,” said the coach.
Photo: Lauren Strapagiel