By William Prowse
The Ryerson Rams men’s volleyball team overcame a sluggish start to beat the Nipissing Lakers in four sets—17-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-20—at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Feb. 7.
The win breaks a tie between the Rams and Lakers, as Ryerson now takes complete control of third place in the Ontario University Athletics East standings.
Coming off a bye week, the Rams showed their rust early, dropping the first set 25-17 without making any major runs or gaining momentum.
Third-year captain Navreet Suhan said the Lakers’ energy overmatched his team early and helped them wrestle the lead away.
“We knew they were going to come out firing, we just couldn’t match their intensity in that first set and they did a great job,” Suhan said.
The tone of the game changed in the second set when fourth-year outside hitter Taryq Sani subbed in and provided the Rams with a burst of energy.
Sani contributed three kills in the set and made several key plays defensively as the Rams began to take advantage of the Lakers’ inconsistent service game.
“He had some key serves, some great cover digs, he had some really nice blocks there, and some timely attacks,” said Rams head coach Matthew Harris.
“He definitely helped us out there in the second and all the way through the fourth.”
Sani missed the first five games of the regular season with injuries and said post-game that he’s glad he can contribute in any way he can.
“I haven’t really been able to give this team the best product I have, and I really just want to give that to this team because they’ve given back so much to me during the time that I was injured,” Sani said.
If the Rams got their legs under them in the 25-22 second set, they definitely hit their stride in the 25-17 third.
Second-year star Xander Ketrzynski used his size and athleticism to take over, as he recorded five kills in the set and finished with a game-high 15.
After closing out Nipissing in a tidy fourth set, the Rams now turn their attention to preparing for tomorrow’s road game at Trent University.
Suhan says his team is focused on how to get themselves ready for the final two road games.
“It’s how we get home, it’s how we sleep, it’s how we rest, it’s how we eat and stretch and prepare for tomorrow— the last thing we want to do is take it lightly,” Suhan said.
UP NEXT: The Rams will hit the road tomorrow to face off against Trent University. First serve is set for 7:00 p.m.