PLAY-OFF BOUND

The men’s volleyball team stays in the hunt for a playoff spot. Karen Quinto reports

With only eight games left in the regular season, the Ryerson’s men’s volleyball team defeated the Windsor Lancers last Saturday, after being trampled by the Western Mustangs on Jan. 8.

“We lost to Western yesterday, but Western is undefeated,” said head coach Mirek Porosa.

After Saturday’s 3-1 comeback win, the Rams, who are fighting with York, Toronto and RMC for a playoff berth, are now tied in the OUA standings with Waterloo, and only four points behind Laurier.

The Rams played a close game for most of the first set, but Porosa was forced to call a timeout after the Lancers took an 18-15 lead.

“Ryerson’s the kind of team where if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile,” said Lancer’s assistant coach Shawn Lippert after the game.

The Rams got back on track after the timeout as outside hitter Greg McDonald scored three consecutive points, including two blocks and a kill. Ryerson proceeded to take a short-lived 22-17 lead, but the Lancers responded by scoring eight consecutive points, as they won the first set 25-22.

Windsor was consistently ahead in the second set until Porosa called upon their Libero and team captain Robby Earl to take control of the game. Earl served up an ace that started the comeback and McDonald recorded two kills to help the Ram win the set 25-23.

That was the inch that became a mile.

The Rams kept their spirits up throughout the third set despite a rough start put them behind 4-0. Ryerson took charge of the game with a commanding 13-7 lead, thanks to middle blocker Roman Kabanov and outside hitter Chris McLaughlin.

While Windsor began closing in on Ryerson’s lead, a clutch block from Kabanov sealed the set for the Rams who were leading the game 2-1.

“We weren’t hungry to win, “ Windsor captain and setter Adam Prieur explained. “We feel that Ryerson is fighting to make it to the playoffs and they were hungry to win.”

That hunger persisted throughout the fourth set as successful serves by outside hitter Luka Milosevic and timely blocks by setter Aleksa Miladinovic got the team off to a quick start. The game became extremely tense midway through the set as Windsor crept up through a series of bad serves and costly errors by the Rams. Those errors quickly built up to a 19-19 tie. However Kabanov and McDonald stepped it up, paving the way to a victory as they ended the set 25-22, winning the game with a three sets to one.

“Ryerson is better than what they say on paper,” said Windsor head coach Huub Kemmere.

The Rams will play their next game against York Friday night at Kerr Hall.

Photo: Stephen Akassim

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