By Mitchell Fox
The Rams women’s volleyball team put together a solid performance in a straight-sets victory over the Trent Excalibur Wednesday night at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.
The Rams took the match 25-16, 25-6, 25-18, besting Trent for their second victory in a row over the Excalibur.
Rams head coach Dustin Reid said the coaches for the Excalibur told him the team played “mistake-free volleyball,” something he mentioned is “really, really hard to do.”
“When you can be aggressive and not make mistakes, you’re hard to beat,” he said. “We did that the last two days.”
With the victory, the Rams improved to 2-10, breaking a losing skid with two victories in a row.
“I’m really happy for the players, that they get to feel the way they have the last two nights, putting it all together,” said Reid.
The Rams bench boss said the team’s play has been trending in the right direction for “a number of weeks,” but they faced some tough opponents, including the third-ranked team in Canada, the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
Reid said the game, like the season, has been bittersweet.
“It’s never happened in my career where the amount of effort, emotion and work that we put in has not connected to what our results have been,” said Reid. “But there’s no doubt we’re playing our best volleyball right now. And the team should be really proud of that.”
Reid also said the games against Trent gave the team a chance to build some confidence.
“I think you saw that on the floor, both [Wednesday night] and tonight,” he added.
Rams rookie libero Mary Ann Rioflorido said that while it’s been a trying season, the team’s spirits are high.
“It’s been very emotional for us but that was all the more reason to just go out there and give everything we have,” Rioflorido said. “Just playing for each other and all of our teammates and coaches who aren’t here right now-we just played for them.”
Rioflorido said it was also important to give the team’s graduating seniors “something to look back on and be happy about.”
“I think that this one was really important for us. Just to tally that up to get better for next year and to build momentum for next year,” Rioflorido said.
The Rams will look to extend their win streak Saturday against the Royal Military College (RMC) Paladins. Reid said it will be a special day.
“It’s a little bit about trying to keep it going and it’s a lot about honouring people who’ve really given a tremendous amount to our volleyball program and to the athletic department here,” Reid said. “And hopefully the whole team will honour those players by having our best performance.”
Rioflorido said her teammates have always been her number one fans, so her mindset for Saturday is to do her best to pick up every ball for them.
“I would do anything for them. I would put my body on the line for them. And I know they would do the same,” she said.
“Their support team has made the transition from high school to university very easy for me,” she added.
UP NEXT: The Rams next game comes against the RMC Paladins on Saturday, where they’ll celebrate their graduating players. First-serve is set for 6 p.m.