By Kintaro Skinner
The Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team started their season off at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Oct. 25, as they took the Lakehead Thunderwolves to task in convincing fashion winning 3-0 (25-16, 25-20, 25-16).
Ryerson was led by outside hitter Brett Hagarty with 12 kills in the match.
“Our bench really shared a lot of information, where their gaps were on defence and I saw that the pot was open,” said Hagarty. “I was able to capitalize on a couple roll shots to the pot which really helped me for my hard swings to open up the court.”
Hagarty was not alone as three other Rams had over 11 points against the Thunderwolves.
The Thunderwolves did fight back though, putting up 20 points in the second set but ultimately the Rams came together and took over the third.
“The calmness and sharing of information kept us together so we could push through the little slump and come out on top,” added Hagarty.
Despite finishing last season with a 1-18 record, the Thunderwolves were a solid defensive team in 2018-19, finishing eighth in the Ontario University Athletics in digs per set. They’ve also shown improved success in service.
“They have the ability to get hot from the service line so our goal was to win the serve-pass battle,” said assistant coach Adam Simac. “I thought we didn’t let them go on extended runs and if they got one, we were able to cut the momentum and give them a chance to make some mistakes too.”
Simac was filling in at head coach for Dustin Reid who could not attend due to a previous obligation.
The Rams also got a healthy contribution from middle blocker Katelyn Grasman, who had nine kills and five digs on the night.
“I think our setter Lauren Wong was giving us really good, hittable balls where we were able to see the block and hit around them,” said Grasman. “It really [gave] our offence an easier job because of those balls she was giving us.”
Wong averaged 12 assists per set in the match, well above her 2018-19 average of 9.70.
Outside hitter Lauren Veltman, third on the all-time list in hitting percentage, missed tonight’s game with an ankle injury.
UP NEXT: The Rams take on their downtown rival, the U of T Varsity Blues at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Oct. 26. First serve is set for 6 p.m.