By Sarah Cunningham-Scharf
Fourth-ranked Ryerson Rams (9-4) beat first-ranked Ottawa Gee-Gees (12-3) three sets to two on Jan. 19 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
Head coach Dustin Reid said, “We played great volleyball towards the end of the match, and we beat a great team today.”
After coming out energetic and determined, the Rams lost a very tight first set 26-24 and then an Ottawa-dominant second set 25-18.
But the Rams pressed hard and managed to dominate the Gee-Gees 25-13 with strong blocks and digging to bring the match into the fourth set.
Reid said serving and defense has been essential to the Rams success in the second half of this season.
With some big kills from outside hitters Veronica Livingston and Emily Nicolishen, the Rams won the fourth set 25-23 before coming out swinging in the fifth.
Eleven kills in the fifth set and three service aces pushed the Rams to win the match 3-2 with a final fifth-set score of 15-11.
“That just showed our character — being able to come back in that game,” Emily Betteridge said. “We obviously wanted it really bad.”
Starting setter Betteridge had a notable match, playing all five games and leading the team in digs, 11, and assists, 53.
Since transferring to Ryerson from Syracuse University, Betterideg had been active for only 2 games prior to the winter break. But she has proved to be a powerful player and is beginning to feel more comfortable with the team systems.
But Betteridge said it was libero Julie Longman that built the foundation for their win.
“She came in in the third set and just killed it, defense and passing, so clearly we needed that,” Betteridge said.
Heading in to the playoffs, Reid said Sunday’s game was a great example of how the women’s volleyball team needs to “beat more teams like that.”