By Minh Truong
After a close first set, the Ryerson Rams men’s volleyball team swept through the Trent Excalibur in a dominating 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-17) at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC) on Nov. 23.
Trent’s solid defence gave Ryerson a rough first set that was plagued with service errors from the home team.
“We made little errors, but our servings have improved,” said outside hitter Xander Ketrzynski. “[The team is] trying to get to know each other more because we’re still pretty new.”
The victory was essential after their loss to the Toronto Varsity Blues the night before. Toronto is currently atop the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Eastern Conference with a 6-1 record.
Ryerson head coach Matthew Harris was happy with the team’s bounce-back performance.
“I put the same group out there and let them get a chance to redeem themselves,” said Harris. “I thought the guys composed themselves really well and came out with the win.”
Harris said the close first set was “a little bit of a layover from last night’s game.”
Trent Excalibur put up a good fight but couldn’t handle Ryerson’s service pressure as the game progressed. Outside hitter Nicholas Taylor led the Excalibur with 12 kills and four digs.
“We have some good service pressure that puts the other team into a not really comfortable offence,” said Harris. “Our block defence was able to capitalize [from it].”
Ryerson gained momentum and dominated Trent, taking both the second and third sets by a score of 25-17. Ketrzynski plowed through Trent’s defence with 11 kills and five aces.
Trent had a scoring streak at the second set, but it wasn’t enough.
Outside hitter Taryq Sani continued to shake the court with 10 points and four close-quarter digs. Sani missed the first four games of the season with an ankle injury.
The game also saw some great performances from the two rookies Trent Kertrzynski and Derek Webster.
Kertrzynski delivered solid defence while chipping in 16 assists, out of Ryerson’s 36 in the game.
“[Trent Ketrzynski] is the hardest worker off the court on our team, and it shows with how he played tonight,” said Harris. “He served well, he blocked well, he ran the court on offence, he’s always prepared.”
Harris was also pleased with Webster’s consistent performance throughout the season thus far.
“Derek had to play some key moments early on in the year when Tariq went down, and he played really well,” said Harris.
The Rams improve to 5-3 on the season with the win while Excalibur has still yet to pick up a victory, seven games into the season.
“We went to highs and lows, but throughout we stayed level-headed and played our game,” said Xander.
UP NEXT: The Rams will now head into the break and return on Jan. 10 to greet the Western Mustangs at the MAC. First serve is set for 8:00 p.m.