Rams Insider: Ryerson women’s volleyball back on track

Ryerson Rams

Veronica Livingston smashes the ball against the Waterloo Warriors Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014. (Rebecka Calderwood / Ryersonian Staff)

It has been a great last two months to be a member of the Ryerson Rams women’s volleyball team.

The team started its 2014-15 season at 8-1. Just last week, it cracked the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) top 10 for one of the few times in school history.

To go along with the Rams great record was the news Ryerson will host the CIS national championship in 2017 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The team has a solid roster of veterans, most of whom were brought in before the start of the 2011 season.

Players like Emily Nicholishen, Chelsea Briscoe and Alexandra Whyte were all top recruits from their respective high school teams. They were brought in by head coach Dustin Reid to make an immediate difference, and that they did.

Lauren Sokolowski brings veteran leadership to the team in her fifth season, while Emily Betteridge has solidified herself as the No. 1 setter on the team.

One of the big reasons why Ryerson is tied for ninth in the CIS is due to one of the top recruits in all of Canada in 2012, Veronica Livingston.

Since joining the team, Livingston has been nothing short of spectacular. The Kelowna, B.C., native was named the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rookie of the year in her first season and also made the CIS all-rookie team. She is one of the main reasons why the Rams sit second in the country in kills per set as a team with 12.52, trailing only rival Toronto.

Through nine matches this season, Livingston is third in the CIS in kills per set at 3.94 and fourth in points per set with 4.5.

She is one of the main reasons why the Rams sit second in the country in kills per set as a team with 12.52, trailing only rival Toronto.

Another key for Ryerson has been the emergence of Theanna Vernon. Vernon was a red shirt last season, meaning she didn’t play in any games, but still practised with the team.

At six feet, her reach at the middle blocker position and raw skill has been a huge addition. Her numbers back that up. She sits third on the team in kills per set with 2.6 and is tied for the CIS lead in solo blocks with 21.

This Rams team has showed that it’s a special one early in the season. In the last two seasons, Ryerson has gone on impressive runs after the holiday break. Two years ago they made it to the OUA Final Four.

If this success can continue into 2015, the women’s volleyball team may be in a position to play at nationals two years before it plays host to the big party itself.

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