By William Prowse
The Ryerson Rams men’s volleyball team extended their win streak to four games, efficiently dispatching the York Lions—25-15, 25-20, 25-20—at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Feb. 15.
York opened the match by winning the first point, but Ryerson regained the lead and did not trail at all across the remaining sets.
Rams captain Navreet Suhan said his team made sure they were prepared for a strong effort from the Lions, a team that needed a win to stay in the playoff hunt.
“We knew that’s not how any team wants to go out, of course, they’re going to fight to the last bit,” Suhan said.
The Lions entered the game leading the province in service aces, but Ryerson’s stingy defence did not allow York a single ace on Saturday.
Outside hitter Greg Vukets said the Rams wanted to avoid letting Lions service threats gain momentum.
“There are one or two guys especially where, if you let up a couple in a row, then they start heating up and absolutely rip the ball,” Vukets said.
York was unable to crack Ryerson’s defence and had no answers for the Rams hitters at the net, tallying only three blocks in the game.
Vukets’ effort was key in the win, as he contributed a strong all-around performance and tallied eight kills. The New Zealand born player credits his versatility to growing up in a more laid-back volleyball culture at home.
“It’s less serious, and the [player] pool is a bit smaller, so I think there are teams where you just have to learn a bit of everything,” Vukets said.
Suhan said Vukets’ diverse skillset is key to things running smoothly for the Rams.
“We can’t thank him enough for what he does. He leads us back there in passing, he scores when he needs to and he gets the guys riled up,” Suhan said.
With the win, Ryerson has clinched third place in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East standings, but face a tough task with the second-place Queens Gaels waiting next week before playoffs begin.
The Rams dropped their only previous matchup against the Gaels in January, losing three sets to none.
Vukets said that next week will be a good test for the Rams before the regular season comes to an end.
“All season, we’ve been beating the okay-to-bad teams, then struggling against top teams, and Queens is a top team,” Vukets said. “Now is a good time to prove ourselves right before playoffs.”
UP NEXT: Ryerson will host Queen’s at home on Feb. 23 at the MAC. First serve flies at 4:00 p.m.