By Nicholas Raponi
The Ryerson men’s volleyball team has advanced to the OUA Final Four after defeating the Western Mustangs 3-1 Saturday afternoon.
Fourth-year middle blocker Uchenna Ofoha led the Rams to an energetic start as they matched the Mustangs serve-for-serve in the first set.
The lead went back and forth early as it was tough for either team to gain momentum. However, with the score 13-9 in favour of the Rams the home team took over and did not look back. The set finished with the Rams taking it by a score of 25-16.
The second set was a battle from start to finish. The Mustangs got out to an early lead, which quickly disappeared after the Rams began to take control of the play.
The control the Rams had did not last long.
With a score of 16-13 in favour of the Rams, the Mustangs called a timeout.
The Mustangs tied the game up at 24-24 but the Rams took the second set 27-25.
Looking to win the game in three sets, the Rams came out firing in the third. The home team found themselves up 8-4 early, but that lead quickly vanished. The Mustangs began to take over the set, leading by a score of 18-16.
After calling a timeout, the Rams regained their focus and closed the gap on the Mustangs. Late in the third set the score sat at 20-19 for the Mustangs, and it was anyone’s set to win.
The Rams began to play with a sense of urgency, tying the game up at 22-22. The Mustangs were able to hold on to win the set 26-24 and force a fourth set.
The Rams held an early 7-4 lead and ended up taking the final set 25-16, and the game 3-1
The Rams just missed the Final Four last year after an upset by University of Windsor Lancers in the quarterfinals.
The Rams will face-off against the Queen’s Golden Gaels in a semifinal match later this week hosted by the McMaster Marauders in Hamilton.