With the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) and U Sports playoffs concluded, The Eyeopener examines the top athletes from the month of March, including a tie for male athlete of the month.
Veronica Livingston – Women’s volleyball
Playing her last month of volleyball as a Ram, the fifth-year outside hitter played every set in Ryerson’s five OUA and U Sports playoff matches. Livingston led all players with a match-high 15 kills in Ryerson’s OUA quarter-final win against Guelph on March 4, finishing with a .481 hitting percentage. She added three service aces and 10 digs as the Rams swept the Gryphons in straight sets to advance to the Final Four for the third time in five seasons.
Livingston posted a team-high eight kills to go along with 17 digs and a service ace in Ryerson’s 3-0 loss to McMaster in the OUA semis. The nursing student led the team again with 13 kills in the Rams’ bronze medal match loss to Toronto, adding 12 digs and a pair of block assists as Ryerson lost in four sets. Livingston finished third among all players in the OUA post-season with 36 kills in 10 sets. That 3.6 kills/set ratio was good for fourth in the OUA playoffs.
During the team’s first appearance at the national championship since 2002, Livingston led the Rams with seven kills in their 3-0 quarter-final loss to the University of Alberta and posted another 10 in their 3-1 loss against Dalhousie in the consolation semi-final. She added eight digs, seven block assists and four service aces over those two matches.
Livingston retires as the all-time leader in Rams women’s volleyball history in kills, points and kills and points per set. She ranks in the top 10 all-time in service aces, digs, total blocks and hitting percentage, and holds six single-match and single-season records. She was named the 2013 OUA Rookie of the Year and was an OUA first-team all-star in each of her next four seasons with Ryerson. Livingston won an OUA silver medal with the team last season.
Lucas Coleman – Men’s volleyball
Coleman was named a U Sports first-team all-Canadian, becoming the first Ryerson men’s volleyball player to earn national first-team status since Ryan Vandenburg in back-to-back seasons from 2004 to 2006. He was also named an OUA first-team all-star for the second time in the past three seasons.
After finishing the OUA regular season in second place among all players with 4.41 kills per set, the fourth-year outside hitter averaged 6.08 kills a set in three playoff matches to lead all players in the OUA post-season.
Despite the Rams’ 1-2 record in the playoffs, Coleman led all players in kills in all three post-season matches. He posted 30 kills and six service aces in Ryerson’s 3-2 quarter-final win over Western before adding 17 kills in the Rams’ straight-sets semi-final loss to McMaster. He followed that up with a dominant 32-kill, three-ace performance in the bronze medal match against Guelph, but Ryerson fell to the Gryphons in five sets.
Adika Peter-McNeilly – Men’s basketball
The fifth-year guard became the first player in Ryerson men’s basketball history to earn first-team all-Canadian status and was named an OUA first-team all-star for the second straight season as the Rams repeated as OUA champions and won the program’s first national silver medal.
Peter-McNeilly posted just seven points in Ryerson’s 76-75 OUA semi-final win over Ottawa, but made the biggest play of the game when he made a huge block on the game’s final possession to secure the victory for the Rams. The sociology major posted a double-double in the Wilson Cup final against the Carleton Ravens, leading all players in both points (29) and rebounds (12) to lead Ryerson to its second straight provincial championship with an 86-79 win.
At the U Sports tournament in Halifax, Peter-McNeilly and fellow guard Ammanuel Diressa were the only Rams to record double-digit point totals in all three of Ryerson’s games. Peter-McNeilly posted 17 points in Ryerson’s 79-70 win over Saint Mary’s University in the quarter-finals, adding seven rebounds while shooting a perfect seven-for-seven from the free throw line. He was named Ryerson’s player of the game in the Rams’ 59-58 semi-final victory over the hosting Dalhousie Tigers, putting up 13 points and seven rebounds with four-for-four shooting from the charity stripe.
In the gold medal game—a rematch with the Ravens and the final game of his Rams career—Peter-McNeilly again earned Ryerson’s player of the game honours, posting a game-high 23 points in a losing effort. He added four rebounds and a pair of steals as the Rams fell 78-69. Peter-McNeilly was named a tournament all-star along with Diressa. Earlier this season, Peter-McNeilly became just the ninth player in Ryerson men’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points.