By Daniel Rocchi
The Ryerson women’s volleyball team hosted the third annual Ryerson Invitational Tournament this past weekend. The team is preparing for another season in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA).
The team lost all three games they played, once to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues and twice to the York University Lions.
Despite the losses, head coach Dustin Reid was pleased to see his team progress over the course of the weekend.
“Your performance can’t be consistently high if you have no energy,” said Reid following the first game against York. “We weren’t at our best in that area [Friday] against Toronto. We were much more prepared to be on the court [on Saturday] and battle for a long match. That’s a good step in the right direction for us.”
With three rookies on the 16-woman roster, the Rams will be counting on the team’s experience for a strong regular season and a return to playoff success.
“We’ve got a nice group of young players on the team,” Reid said. “But let’s be clear, the players that have been here before, they’re the players that are going to lead this team and are going to determine our performance.”
The Rams will need that competitiveness to find success in the tight OUA eastern division. Last season, three teams, including Ryerson, finished with 14-5 records, just behind U of T for first place.
Ryerson took fourth place in the east due to tiebreakers.
Toronto was also responsible for ending Ryerson’s season. The Varsity Blues defeated the Rams in the quarterfinals, only one year after their second OUA final four appearance in team history.
This year, Ryerson has two matches against U of T. Third-year outside hitter Veronica Livingston said playing the Varsity Blues is a good measuring stick for the team.
“They’re a good team to play against, they execute very well,” said Livingston, who had the fifth most kills per game in the OUA last year. “When you lose to them it’s not like you just sat back and lost. You were working hard. It’s definitely just motivation for next time.”
The team opens the season at the Mattamy Athletic Centre against Guelph on Oct. 17.