By Ben Shelley
The Ryerson women’s volleyball team opened their season with an impressive 3-0 (25-13, 25-17, 25-17) victory over the Brock Badgers at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Friday night.
Veterans Emily Nicholishen and Veronica Livingston led the offence for the Rams, each tallying 11 kills. Julie Longman played strong defensively for Ryerson, with a game-high seven digs to defend against the Badgers’ attacks.
The game started out evenly with the teams trading points, and the Rams holding a narrow lead going into the first technical timeout. The Rams then went on a 9-1 point run when play resumed, taking the first set 25-13.
Ryerson took their momentum into the second set, jumping out to a quick 7-0 lead. Brock began to mount a comeback heading into the technical timeout, but strong defensive play led the Rams to the eventual 25-17 set win.
Down 2-0, the Badgers came out strong in the third set, leading for a while early on before the technical timeout. However, Ryerson quickly regained control, going up 16-9, and keeping their lead late in the third set. Rams’ middle blocker Theanna Vernon finished off Brock with her fifth kill of the match.
When asked about the game, Vernon credited some of the success to the team’s passing.
“We were really consistent in our passing,” Vernon said. “That helped our offence get on a roll and our defence get set.”
The crowd was also a factor in the game, with Ryerson students packing the stands for the game. Ryerson’s head coach Dustin Reid was happy to see a good turnout for the home opener.
“When athletes see people excited to watch a good level of play, they put more of themselves into it,” said Reid. “It was really exciting.”
Rookies Gabby Dunning, Demetra Maragos, Kate McIlmoyle and Julia Ranney all saw their first OUA action, coming in to close out the game for Ryerson.
The Rams will travel to Kingston next weekend to play Queen’s and RMC. The next home game is Nov. 14, when they host the Ottawa Gee-Gees.