Photo: Evan Luketic

Women’s volleyball: McMaster snaps Rams’ six-match win streak

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By Peter Ash

  • Rams lose first OUA regular season game since Nov. 26, 2016
  • Veronica Livingston posts match-high 16 kills, gets 1,000th career regular season kill
  • Ryerson still four points back of OUA East-leading University of Toronto

Ryerson’s women’s volleyball team had its six-match winning streak snapped on Wednesday night, falling to the McMaster Marauders 3-1 (25-14, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18) at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Rams outside hitter Veronica Livingston led the way with a match-high 17.5 points, to go along with a team-leading 16 kills and a solid six digs. Middle blocker Theanna Vernon finished with 3 blocks and added seven kills of her own, while setter Kate McIlmoyle posted 26 assists and a team-best 14 digs.

It’s Ryerson’s first loss in just over a month of play and first of 2017—their last defeat came on Nov. 25 against the OUA East-leading Varsity Blues. The loss moves the Rams to an 11-4 record and four points back of the undefeated Varsity Blues (13-0 record). McMaster improves to 11-3 and slides within two points of the OUA West-leading Western Mustangs.

With Ryerson trailing two sets to one, a tremendous service game from Sorensen and Rachel Woock led to a great start for McMaster in the fourth set, immediately putting the Rams on their heels the rest of the way. A courageous effort by Ryerson would cut the deficit to four, but the Marauders wouldn’t let up the rest of way – closing the set on a 4-0 run, before Steckle sealed the match with a kill to place the score at 25-18 for the fourth and final set.

In a must-win third set for the Rams, Livingston would come alive; smashing six kills to help her squad overcome an early 8-12 deficit. Tied at 20, the third would go to the Rams with Vernon providing two consecutive blocks to give Ryerson in set point. First-year outside hitter Caillin Wark sealed the set with a kill.

A punishing kill by Veronica Livingston would give the Rams a 21-19 lead in the late stages of the second set, leading to a McMaster timeout. Just when it seemed like the Rams were going to take control of the set, the Marauders would find a way to get back in it with Caitlin Genovy—who sits top five in assists per set in the OUA—leading the way with a set-high 10 assists. McMaster scored 6 consecutive points to stun the Rams and spring themselves to a two-set lead.

The first set was all Marauders, with Rebecca Steckle and Maicee Sorensen creating tremendous scoring opportunities off of their serves. Ryerson didn’t help themselves either, committing eight errors during the opening frame. The Marauders would use an 8-0 run to take the first set 25-14.

UP NEXT: The Rams will face Trent on the road on Saturday, Feb. 11 at 6 p.m. Ryerson won the first meeting of the season between these two teams, taking a 3-0 decision at the MAC in late November to spark their six-match winning streak.

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