By Harlan Nemers
At the start of their season opener, the men’s volleyball team paid tribute to four past coaches. Turns out, past success spurred a present one too.
The Ryerson Rams opened their regular season with a 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 25-17) defeat over the Waterloo Warriors Friday night in the Kerr Hall Gymnasium.
After playing to a 1-1 tie in the first sets, the Rams used a key rally to take a 17-16 lead over the Warriors and eventually win the set on a service ace from Roman Kabanov.
“I’m happy with the win. I think we accomplished our goal,” Rams’ head coach Mirek Porosa said. “There were some signs during the game of executing the level of skills such as blocking, serving and we had nice kills as well.”
The veteran trio of Chris McLaughlin, Roman Kabanov and Luca Milosevic shouldered much of the work with 31 kills and all eight of the team’s blocks.
“I think our team did well as a whole,” said Luka Milosevic, who was named the player of the game for Ryerson with 14 kills on 26 attempts. “Our passing was good and our young setter [Aleska Miladinovic] distributed the ball well. I was pretty comfortable throughout the entire game.”
Milosevic made an important block late in the fourth set to give the Rams a 22-15 lead en route to taking the game-winning set.
First-year setter Aleska Miladinovic added a team-high 29 assists and three service aces, while Kabonov shot a team-high .636 percent for the Rams.
“We didn’t play as confident as we practiced,” Waterloo head coach Chris Lawson said. “We did not serve tough as a team and made a huge number of errors. We were playing nervous and tight.”
Fidor Kazhamiaka, who was named the Waterloo player of the game, shot a team-high .400 percent with 14 kills in Waterloo’s first loss of the season.
“We still have potential,” said rookie Kazhamiaka. “There are a lot of areas where I could improve and if I do that, the team will improve.”
As for history repeating itself, the Rams hope to dispel that notion and beat the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks — a feat they have not accomplished since 2006.