By Michael Grace-Dacosta
Ryerson’s women’s volleyball team lost a tightly contested game, 3-2 (30-32, 25-16, 25-27, 25-16, 15-12), to the Queen’s Gaels at the Mattamy Athletic Centre Friday night.
This is the first time the Rams have lost back to back games this season.
Adding injury to insult they also lost their leading scorer, outside hitter Veronica Livingston, to a left leg injury in the third set. It is unknown if this injury will cause her to miss any games.
“Not having Veronica on the floor is difficult for us but I don’t think it played into the result of the match,” said Rams coach Dustin Reid.
Outside hitter Emily Nicholishen had a strong offensive and defensive game for the Rams recording a game-high 18 kills to go along with 12 digs. Kristine Yan and Kristina Vlcek tied for second on the team in kills with 14 each. Livingston had 10 kills before leaving the game with an injury.
Outside hitter Brett Hagarty had a huge game for the Gaels leading her team in kills with 17 and digs with 12. Katie Hagarty had 12 kills and 10 digs in the victory.
Reid said the Rams struggled to close sets all game and was especially unhappy about how they closed the first set.
“We didn’t execute at the end with our block and defense,” said Reid. “They sided-out six times in row which is unacceptable.”
The Rams got it together in the second set winning handily 25-16. Despite a rough start to the third set, where they trailed 5-1, the Rams were control of the set heading into the technical timeout leading 16-9.
Shortly after the technical timeout Livingston left the game with an injury and the Rams collapsed as the Gaels would end the set on a 18-9 run to win the set.
“You like to think you have a strong enough team that losing one person won’t affect it but it is tough,” said Rams setter Emily Betteridge. “We look at her to score a lot of points so it was tough but I think we pulled through.”
The Rams dominated the next set 25-16 but lost the final set 14-12.
The Rams erratic emotional state played a factor in their uneven performance.
“It’s a little bit roller-coastery,” said Nicholishen. “When we do have those good moments it’s fantastic. I feel if we could do that more often then we’re really going to be a team to beat.”
Nicholishen says the team is inconsistent emotionally because they aren’t used to each other yet. She believes with more practice the team will correct this issue.
The Rams look to snap their losing skid against the Royal Military College Paladins on Saturday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.