Rams trounce young Excalibur in final game of semester

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By Kintaro Skinner

The Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team defeated the Trent Excalibur in a one-sided affair 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-8) on Nov. 23 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

It was a much-needed bounce-back win for the Rams after a tough loss to the No. 4 ranked Toronto Varsity Blues the night before.

“It got a lot of our girls’ confidence up. We didn’t let up at all against this team which I find we do a lot,” said outside hitter Lauren Veltman.

Despite Trent being overmatched on paper, they put up a good fight in the second as they took 19 points in the set.

“They played very aggressively, [they] served very well, I think there was a period in the second set where we missed a number of serves and a few attacks, that gave them a bit of belief that they could stay close and they did,” said Rams head coach Dustin Reid.

Outside hitter Genna Saunders led the charge for the Excalibur with six points.

To say the Rams were heavy favourites in this match would be an understatement. The Excalibur ranked last in kills, assists and digs coming into the matchup.

Trent is a relatively new program in their fourth season in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East division.

Ryerson was without libero Samantha Cyrille, who leads the OUA in digs, nine matches into the season. In Cyrille’s absence, Reid adjusted by moving outside hitter Brett Hagarty to her typical post on the court.

“You can put Brett at any position out there and she’ll be the best kid in the gym, [she] solidifies so many aspects of the team,” said Reid. “She’s a special athlete, a special volleyball player, and when you put her in a different environment like that it allows other people to see how special she is.”

On the stat sheet, Hagarty’s effort defensively was rewarded as she led Ryerson with 15 digs.

Offensively, Ryerson could not be touched at the net. Almost every kill in the match came from a spike that seemingly put a dent in the ground.

Veltman and middle blocker Ashley Ditchfield put together an outstanding performance, as they combined for 24 points on the evening.

“We know that [Trent] is not the strongest team out there but they can pick up hard digs, so just placement in certain areas where they’re not was probably the best strategy for this game,” said Veltman.

With the victory, Ryerson heads into the winter break with an 8-1 record, atop the OUA East.

“We’ve haven’t necessarily found our best volleyball, I’m not sure that we’ve found our best lineup yet but we’ve found ways to win in almost all scenarios,” said Reid. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best of our team yet.”

UP NEXT: The Rams face the McGill Martlets at Goldring Centre on Jan. 3. First serve is set for 4 p.m.

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