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Rams sweep Gee-Gees in playoff rematch

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By Hailey Salvian

The Ryerson women’s volleyball team is back in the win column after beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees 3-0, (25-17, 25-13, 25-17) on Saturday night.  

Perhaps more important to the team than the win, was the return of Kristine Yan who was sidelined with an injury in the 2014-2015 season.

“It was such a huge loss when she had her injury last year,” said Emily Nicholishen. “We are really happy to have her back.”

Yan’s teammates didn’t know she was playing until she dressed for the game and made it official. In her return, she tallied 10.5 points and seven kills, but head coach Dustin Reid said she was much more than a stat line.  

“Yan coming back provided inspiration to the team,” said Reid. “Her presence was immeasurable.”

The inspiration was evident in the game, as the Rams led the Gee-Gees the entire time with the exception of a 4-4 tie early in the third set.

“I’m really proud of the way we played,” said Reid. “We certainly didn’t go in expecting to win 3-0.”

The Rams were hot out of the gate and carried momentum throughout the game with a balanced attack at the net and solid defense. On the other side, the Gee-Gees struggled to get their offence going, with 23 attacking errors to 26 kills.

“We really tried to focus on playing together as a six-player unit and not focus on what Ottawa was doing,” said Nicholishen. “I think we did a really good job of that tonight.”

Ryerson took an early lead in the first 11-4, but an Ottawa run would bring them within one at 16-15 at the technical timeout. The Rams offence got going though forcing Ottawa errors and an eventual timeout at 20-16. When plan began again, Yan had two kills and Nicholishen sealed the deal with a block to end the set.

Nicholishen and the Rams stayed hot and easily took the second set 25-13.

The Gee-Gees looked to fight back into the game in the third and they almost succeeded. It was their best set of the night with 13 kills, but the Rams defence, led by libero Julie Longman who had a match-high 15 digs, was too good and the Rams took the set 25-17.

The Rams, playing without top point scorer Veronica Livingston, had 31 kills in the game.

Nicholishen finished with a match-high nine kills and 11 points, while Theanna Vernon contributed a match-high five blocks along with 11 points and six kills.  

Caroline Lemay led Ottawa with six kills, as her team dropped to 4-3 on the season.

With the win the Rams improve to 4-1 and move up to second place in the OUA East. They will be back in action next Friday Nov. 20 versus the York University Lions.

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