By Pamela Johnston
In her first year as a member of Ryerson’s women’s volleyball team, Veronica Livingston surpassed all expectations, being named the OUA Rookie of the Year and a member of the CIS All-rookie team. But to the nursing student, the biggest surprise was that she got to play at all.
“I was expecting to be on the bench,” says Livingston. “[So] I was ecstatic that I even got to play.”
Rams head coach Dustin Reid is hesitant to give rookies playing time because he doesn’t want to give them too much responsibility too soon, but says Veronica earned her spot in the starting line-up.
“I love having players come in and grow first, but the bottom line is: the players that give us the best chance to win are going to be on the floor,” says Reid.
Livingston finished second on the team in kills (76), blocks (16.5) and points (98), but says all her accolades are a result of the team.
“It’s a team sport, so obviously I didn’t get [them] by myself,” she says. “It was the whole team behind me.”
The Rams went on a seven-game winning streak to end their 14-4 season, easily making the postseason. Livingston says the first-round playoff win over the McMaster Marauders, which sent the Rams through to the OUA Final Four, was the highlight of her rookie season.
“I’ve never played in any kind of environment like that,” she says. “Watching the boys’ teams going back and forth with their cheering, and the end [with] everyone coming on the court,” Livingston says. “That was great.”
For a team that has risen from the bottom (they were 1-18 in in just two seasons), the Rams already have big expectations. And for Livingston, her goals — team goals — are simple.
“Getting back to the Final Four. Getting to the finals.”