By Josh Beneteau
The Ryerson women’s volleyball team (13-4) won their second game of the weekend in straight sets (25-20, 25-18, 25-23) Saturday over the York Lions (9-8).
The win came one day after the team beat a weaker opponent in the Nipissing Lakers but it showed head coach Dustin Reid that his team can play against anyone.
“We played really well today, not saying we didn’t play well yesterday but we played well today,” he said. “It’s great to play important matches and it’s great to play good teams and I’m really thrilled that we played well today.”
The first set saw Ryerson open a big lead early, going up by four points and keeping York at that distance. Middle Chelsea Briscoe tipped a couple past the York blockers while outside hitters Veronica Livingston and Emily Nicholishen racked up the kills. Livingston led the team with 15 while Nicholishen added 12. The closest York got in that set was when the score was 20-19 but Livingston was just too much power for the Lions’ defence.
The second set was more of the same, with Ryerson opening an eight-point lead quickly. Reid said the team’s blocking helped keep the York players from getting to many good chances on offence.
“It was one of the better blocking games we’ve had,” he said. “We controlled their hitters quiet well.”
The third set was the closest of the three with Ryerson twice blowing five point leads and at times even trailing. Reid switched out Briscoe for rookie Theanna Vernon, getting Vernon her first playing time of 2015 after missing six games with a concussion. Vernon added a couple key kills late and Nicholishen drove the final point home to win the set 25-23 and to take the match.
“We definitely focused on our side of the court, which has been a goal for the entire second half of our season,” Nicholishen said. “With our team we’re pretty comfortable with coming from behind and this game was no different.”
The Rams close out their season against the two teams that are ahead of them in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) east division. On Feb. 6, they host the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, who haven’t lost a game all season. Then on Feb. 8 the Rams play the season finale against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees who have a near identical record to Ryerson.
“We need to get to get some rest here in the next day or two,” Reid said. “Then it’s time to prepare for what are I think the best two teams in the OUA.”