Women’s volleyball beats U of T, lose to Ryerson

Gaels earn five-set victory over U of T, struggle against top-ranked Ryerson

Second-year Saffron Van Der Linde taps the ball over a U of T player.
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For the second consecutive weekend, the women’s volleyball team (7-6) split their weekend series against a pair of conference rivals. Despite topping the University of Toronto Varsity Blues (9-5) on Saturday, the Gaels fell to the Ryerson Rams on Sunday.

First, in their annual Bell Let’s Talk game, the women’s volleyball team earned their second victory over the Varsity Blues this season in five sets.

After winning the first 25-21, Queen’s lost their next two sets as U of T gained momentum. However, the Gaels managed to string together strong back-to-back sets, winning the fourth 25-23 and the fifth 15-9 to come away with a victory.

In an interview with The Journal, Head Coach Ryan Ratushniak said his team is showing signs they’re shaping up well for playoff time.

“We put ourselves in a good position, we can make a good run for the playoffs here and do well in the playoffs,” Ratushniak said.

Overall, the Gaels were superior, besting Toronto’s 49 kills with 55 of their own, and a hitting percentage of 21.9 per cent compared to the Blue’s 12.8 per cent. Notably, second-year Alexandra Tsiofas had 18 digs and fifth-year Caroline Livingston had 19.

On Sunday afternoon, the defending OUA champions and OUA East leaders Ryerson Rams (12-1) swept the Gaels in three sets. In their last meeting, the Gaels lost to the Rams in five sets, but they struggled to match their opponent’s pace this time around.  Going into the weekend, the Rams were on a six-game winning streak.

Reflecting on the loss, Ratushniak said it took his players a while to get going in Sunday’s match to really make something of it.

“We needed to play with a lot of energy, a lot more passion, than we did in the first set and a half,” he said. “We started to play that way and showed some good signs throughout the third set and the second of the second set […] but I wish we could have started that way.”

While both teams totalled 33 kills in the match, Queen’s made 24 errors to the Rams’ 10, capitalizing on the Gaels’ mistakes to execute a cleaner performance.

“[Ryerson’s] a good team, so it’s a good learning experience,” Ratushniak said. “They’re a very physical team, and we couldn’t quite match their physicality.”

This weekend’s results have placed the Gaels third in the OUA East. The team is on the road next week to face the York Lions (6-5) and Nipissing Lakers (3-8). In their first meetings this season, Queen’s toppled both teams with three sets to one victories.  

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