The Ryerson women’s volleyball team vaulted over the McMaster Marauders to a Quigley Cup provincial championship Saturday after an MVP-winning performance from middle blocker Theanna Vernon.
Head coach Dustin Reid called Vernon “one of the best volleyball players I’ve ever coached” after she delivered one of her best performances, getting 12 kill and nine block assists in the biggest game in program history.
Much like Friday night’s semifinal against Western and through much of the regular season, Ryerson dropped the first set, even though they had a comeback that saw them climb to a 29-27 loss.
But the patience of coach Reid resonated with his players, and Ryerson would come back to set the pace for rest of the game. They won the next three straight sets by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-15.
Janelle Albert and Lauren Veltman punched the Marauders’ defence with their deadly spikes, while Vernon stonewalled their offence, with her dominating net presence.
McMaster played a solid game, going toe-to-toe with Ryerson, but were unable to keep up in their sets, and looked particularly tired during the last one. Ryerson swept without much struggle.
“I don’t know how to put my feelings into words right now” said Vernon, who was beaming with pride for her teammates. The fourth-year middle blocker was “a little proud” of herself, but credited the team for coming together to win the provincial championship.
“We’ve got other things to accomplish here,” said Reid, referring to next week’s national volleyball tournament hosted by Laval University in Quebec City, but was ready to enjoy the moment with his players. “I think I’ve only hugged one player so far,” he said, and was itching to give the rest his congratulations.