In a marathon Saturday afternoon match at PAC, the Ryerson Rams defeated the Waterloo Warriors three sets to one, taking sole possession of second place and knocking the Warriors down to third place in the OUA standings.
Chris Lawson, the Warriors’ head coach, said, “Obviously [we’re] disappointed. We didn’t really play well. We had moments of good volleyball and moments of very poor volleyball … We just made too many errors against a big, physical team.” After taking a commanding 17-12 lead in the first set, the Warriors allowed the Rams to win back the set. A combination of poor performance and Ryerson’s aggressive offence were the main culprits; however, the Warriors managed to hold off the Rams to win a tightly contested first with a score of 28-26. Both teams started off strong in the first half of the second set, until the Rams built a 14-10 lead which they did not relinquish. Ryerson took the second set by the score of 25-21, tying things up at a set apiece. The Rams’ momentum carried over into the third set, as they quickly jumped out to a 7-3 lead. The Warriors quickly stormed back, however, to tie things up at 28-28. Both teams had multiple opportunities to clinch the set when Ryerson finally capitalized on a set point opportunity, taking a crucial, momentum-shifting third set by the score of 35-33. Unable to overcome the deflating blow of losing the third set, the Warriors fell to the Rams in the fourth set, 25-20. Lawson admitted the third set loss seemed to have affected the team’s performance in the fourth set, but said the team must learn how to overcome adversity. “If it did, that’s something we have to fight against as a team mentally,” Lawson said. “The game of volleyball is filled with momentum changes and you can’t let the last point dictate how you play the next point, so I’m sure it was a bit deflating, but again we did it to ourselves by making silly mistakes at the wrong time.” Ryerson’s Lucas Coleman was a standout for the Rams collecting 19 kills, six digs, and three service aces. Zachary Doherty led the way for the Warriors with 15 kills, 11 digs and three blocks. Although Lawson recognizes that the loss on Saturday can be attributed to underperformance and the missing presence of Jordan Dyck — who’s leading the nation in blocks — he realizes a game like this, against Ryerson, is a test for the Warriors to see how they stack up versus the OUA’s elite teams. “I guess, like I said, we definitely underperformed and we’re missing a couple of key guys,” Lawson said. “Yeah, it’s a good test. We know that we can’t make silly mistakes against good teams and be successful.” Jordan Dyck, who’s been out for five weeks, had a bone scan on Friday to determine how his stress fracture is healing and if he’s healthy enough to play next weekend. The Warriors will be heading out on the road to take on the York Lions Jan. 17 and the Nipissing Lakers Jan. 18, when they hope to have Jordan Dyck back ready for action.