Photo: Sylvia Lorico

Men’s playoff volleyball: Rams season ends with close OUA bronze medal loss to Guelph

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By Sylvia Lorico

  • Ryerson finishes fourth in the OUA playoffs
  • Lucas Coleman makes career-high 32 kills, named player of the game for Ryerson
  • Adam Anagnostopoulos achieves a kill rate of 1.000% in the game

Ryerson’s men’s volleyball team lost a tight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) bronze medal match on Saturday night, losing 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 21-25, 13-15) to the Guelph Gryphons at the David Braley Athletic Centre in Hamilton.

Lucas Coleman, who was named player of the game for Ryerson, had a career high 32 kills and added three service while Adam Anagnostopoulos posted 52 assists, nine digs and a pair of kills. Kendrick Kerr and and Joshua Green paced the Gryphons with 18 and 17 kills, respectively.

Ryerson fought hard in the fifth and deciding set, keeping the score close by only one or two points. It was not until late in fifth that the game was decided. A kill from Green made it 14-13 Gryphons.  A block from Samuel Nothnagel stopped Coleman’s attack, giving the Gryphons a decisive 15-13 win in the tiebreaker.

Ryerson swept Guelph when they last played during the regular season in early March. Guelph came into the playoffs with a record of 12-5, almost the same as Ryerson’s 12-6 regular season record. Teams in the OUA West play 18 regular season matches, while OUA East teams only play 17.

The third set was the strongest for the Rams. Despite heavy offense from the Gryphons, a block by Uchenna Ofoha allowed the Rams to edge out an early 10-8 lead. The Gryphons tried to come back but two attack errors late in the game made it 20-15 Rams. They dominated the rest of the set, taking it 25-19.

The Gryphons came back strong during the fourth set. The Rams run into some trouble in the middle of the set, when the Gryphon’s Samuel Nothnagel achieves a back-to-back kill and service ace. An attack error from Coleman put the Rams behind 17-20 to force a Ryerson timeout.  The Rams battled back with three kills from Coleman after the timeout, but Kerr matched Coleman’s offense with two kills of his own en route to a 25-21 Gryphons win.

About  30 seconds into the second set, Uchana Ofoha injured his shin after attempting a dig for the Rams. He took a rest for the early part of the set, but returned shortly after.

The game took a positive turn for the Rams following the incident. Coleman scored back-to-backs kills, bringing the  Ram just three points ahead in the middle of the set 15-12. The Gryphons manage to catch up with the Rams with kills and some service errors from Ryerson, tying the game 23-23. An attack error from the Gryphon’s Samuel Nothnagel put Ryerson up 24-23 before service ace from Brendan Kewin sealed the set for the Rams.

Sloppy play from the Rams in the middle of the first set allowed the Gryphons to take a 19-16 lead. Strong offensive action from the Gryphons kept the Rams on their heels to end the set 25-20 for Guelph.

After missing out on a trip to the national tournament thanks to a semi-final loss to McMaster, the men’s volleyball season came to an end with the loss.

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