U SPORTS women’s volleyball preview

For Ryerson’s volleyball teams, the OUA Final Four didn’t go as planned, as both the men’s and women’s teams lost in their bronze-medal games the men to Guelph and the women to the University of Toronto.

For the men, the season is now over. But the women get a chance to redeem their season this weekend as Ryerson is hosting the U SPORTS women’s volleyball national championships at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC).

As the hosts, the Rams get an automatic berth in the tournament and they go into nationals as the eighth and final seed. As for the rest of the seedings, the Alberta Pandas, who went 22-2 in the regular season, come in at No. 1. At No. 2 is the McMaster Marauders, who swept Ryerson in straight sets in the OUA semifinals and enter the tournament as the newly minted OUA champions.

Coming in at No. 3 is the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds. The Montreal Carabins, the Quebec Student Sports Network champions, rank at No. 4 with the Dalhousie Tigers seeded at No. 5. They are followed by the OUA silver medallists, the Western Mustangs, and Canada West bronze medallists Trinity Western Spartans.

Ryerson kicks off the tournament this Friday at 6 p.m. in the quarter-finals against No. 1 seed Alberta. If they win, they will play in the semifinals against the winner of the Montreal vs. Dalhousie game. If the Rams lose, they play the loser in a consolation game. All games can be seen on a live webcast on USPORTS.LIVE.

As the eighth seed going in, it will be an uphill battle for the Rams. “We’re the No. 8 seed playing the No. 1 seed,” says director of athletics Ivan Joseph. “It’s a daunting task. But if you’ll notice, the previously undefeated University of Toronto didn’t make it here so we’re definitely David fighting Goliath. So we’ll have our battle in front of us, but I think the hometown crowd will help us even [out] those chances and odds.”

This is just the second appearance for women’s volleyball at the national level for Ryerson. Their first showing came in 2002, but the Rams lost both of their games in straight sets at the tournament against UBC and Laval.

This article was published in the print edition of the Ryersonian on March 16, 2017.

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