By Daniel Rocchi
With January drawing to a close, The Eyeopener examines the performances of the top Ryerson varsity athletes of the month.
Theanna Vernon, Women’s Volleyball
The third-year middle blocker from Scarborough, Ont. was a model of efficiency for a women’s volleyball team that went 4-0 in Ontario University Athletics (OUA) play in January—the only Ryerson team to go undefeated in the first month of 2017.
In 14 sets, Vernon amassed 39 kills, including a season-high 14 on Jan. 21 against Nipissing. She added 10 solo blocks, 13 block assists and 11 digs on defence over the course of the month.
The former OUA East Rookie of the Year recorded just 10 attacking errors in January, lifting her to second in the OUA in hitting percentage (.366).
With 12 service aces on the month—including eight against Queen’s on Jan. 27 for a Ryerson single-match record—Vernon now sits second in the OUA in service aces per set (0.65). She also ranks third in blocks per set (1.28).
The Rams enter February on a five-match win streak dating back to Nov. 26, 2016, and have lost just four sets in that span. They sit second in the OUA East, trailing only the undefeated Toronto Varsity Blues, who have a pair of matches in hand.
Aaron Armstrong, Men’s Hockey
Already enjoying a breakout sophomore season with Ryerson, the third-year business management student was the best of several Rams forwards who found a new gear in the first month of 2017.
After being held off the scoresheet in a pair of lopsided road losses against UQTR and Concordia to start the month, Armstrong enters February riding a six-game point streak, amassing a team-high 15 points in January.
He led all Rams skaters with six goals—two of them game-winners, and his shorthanded tally against Waterloo on Jan. 19 has him leading the OUA in that category. That game, an 8-3 win over the Warriors, saw Armstrong match a career high set earlier this season with four points (1 goal, three assists).
Armstrong now sits third in OUA scoring with 15 goals and is part of a four-way tie for third in the OUA overall points race with a team-leading 33 points on the season.
Ryerson went 6-0-0 during Armstrong’s point streak, outscoring the opposition by a combined 40-13 to begin February with the highest winning percentage (.792) and best offense (4.58 goals per game) in the OUA.