By Daniel Michael Centeno
The Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team (16-2) defeated the York Lions (9-8) in a close four-set match—26-24, 26-24, 16-25, 25-21—on Feb. 15 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).
Ryerson rallied from back-to-back early deficits to win the first two sets with consecutive 26-24 scores. It included them trailing 6-17 in the first set before going on a 13-1 run.
“We were outplayed for 70 per cent of the match today. It’s as simple as that. No one says when you’re down 24-16 that you’re going to turn it on. But we were able to be really precise during that time,” said Rams head coach Dustin Reid.
Ryerson also beat York 3-1—20-25, 25-19, 25-21, 27-25—in their previous meeting on Oct. 30 this season.
The victory gives the Rams their 16th win as they sit first in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) standings with 32 points.
After dropping the third set 25-16, Ryerson secured the victory in the fourth set 25-21.
Rams fourth-year right side Calin Wark led the Rams with 15 kills. Wark said the comeback was sparked by “taking everything point-by-point” to erase the early deficits against their cross-town rivals.
“[York is] a really tough serving team, so receiving and facing adversity in that area was hard. They brought their A-game today and they played really well. Probably the best I’ve seen them,” she said.
Rams outside hitter Brett Hagerty and middle blocker Lauren Veltman both recorded 14 kills for the match.
Veltman said that the adjustments made throughout the match were crucial to the victory.
“We changed blocking on the right side to a block line. I felt like [York] did not set their middles a lot,” said Veltman. “I don’t think that York thought Lauren [Wong] would’ve continuously gone to the middle. She was hitting me in the perfect spots.”
Wong finished with a game-high of 44 assists. This game marked the seventh time this season that she’s recorded over 40 assists in a match. She also had 10 digs in the afternoon.
“York was serving really well. They came out with nothing to lose,” said Wong. “We should’ve done a better job of knowing that and respecting a team that is super energetic and will come out firing.”
Lions outside hitter Olivia Kim had a game-high 17 kills and setter Chiara Da Silva recorded 41 assists.
Moving forward, Wong said the team is ready to close out the regular season with their final game against the Queen’s Gaels.
“We want to come out strong. We want to play lights out. Queen’s is a super good competitor so I think we are ready for a challenge.”
UP NEXT: Ryerson will play their final regular season game against the Queen’s Gaels (11-6) on Feb. 23 at the MAC.