By Peter Ash
The Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team fell short of their second consecutive national title on March 17, losing to the UBC Thunderbirds in five sets (25-14, 25-20, 20-25, 20-25, 11-15) to claim silver medals in the U SPORTS national championships.
A game of twists and turns, the Rams were ultimately unable to stop UBC’s relentless outside attack with the latter scoring 49 smashes on the night.
Despite the loss, the Rams will finish the season as silver medalists, receiving their first in program history.
Coming into the tournament, the Rams knew they’d have a challenge as the sixth seed. However, they wouldn’t let that affect them, as they’d sweep both the Calgary Dinos and Alberta Golden Hawks en route to their matchup against the Thunderbirds.
Up two sets to zero, it seemed like the Rams were on their way to back-to-back gold medals. Unfortunately for them, UBC would catch fire and make a strong comeback led by eventual tournament MVP Kiera Van Ryk.
The second-year outside hitter was dominant for her team in this one, smashing a game-high 19 kills in the reverse sweep.
Despite not getting the result they hoped for, Ryerson’s star players would leave their mark. Graduating senior Theanna Vernon would lead the team with 12 kills and three blocks, while Cailin Wark and Lauren Veltman would both tally eight kills of their own.
The Rams will lose Vernon to graduation, but will still have a lot of their firepower next season with the likes of Veltman, Wark and transfer Sara Piana on their roster.
Alongside those players will be their young cast, as rookies Teodora Vukovic, Lauren Wong, Katelyn Grasman and Samantha Cryille, each got playing time in at least one of their national tournament games.