Shaky first half of game ends with Rams victory over Gryphons

By: Emma Moore

Emma sports story
Ryerson Rams outside hitter Joel Hannan during a game against the Guelph Gryphons on Sunday, Sept. 29 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto. (Hung Le/Rams Athletics)

The Ryerson Rams men’s volleyball team defeated the Guelph Gryphons with a score of 3-2 on Sunday afternoon.

It was a back and forth game that ended with the Rams winning three out of the five sets.

Although the game began slow, the Rams were able to push through to victory in the last two sets, in part due to Xander Ketrzynski, who led the way with 25 kills and four aces.

Taryq Sani scored the first point for the Rams with a kill in the first set. However, the Gryphons proved to be a challenge. At the end of the set, the Rams found themselves down by a score of 25-18. Sani and Riley Anderson both scored points with their own kills.

“It was tough for us to get our rhythm [in the beginning],” head coach Matthew Harris said. “But near the end, it felt like we put a couple good plays together and we came out on top.”

In the second set the Rams began to break ahead, finishing with a score of 25-22 in the Rams’ favour. Ketrzynski was a standout in this set, scoring nearly half of the Rams’ points. Other key players in this set were Sani, Joel Hannan, and Sean Shultis. Anderson blocked a kill from the Gryphons and got a point for the Rams.

Guelph bounced back and won the third set of the game, with a score of 25-23. Ketrzynski pulled through with five kills and Sani came in with three. 

“It challenged us more mentally than it did physically,” said Ketrzynski. “We were getting down on ourselves and getting frustrated at each other.” 

In the fourth set, the Rams were victorious over the Gryphons, placing them in a tie. The fifth set would determine the victor of the match. Shultis made some key plays, scoring four points for the Rams by blocking Guelph at the net.

In the final tie breaking set, the Rams pulled ahead with a score of 17-15, giving them the win for the game. Shultis and Saad Shaikh both defended at the net and got a point each. Ketrzynski and Sani also got some kills for the Rams. Ultimately, Ryerson found themselves victorious.

Sani says the game was really a part of a learning curve for the team.

“[I am] playing with a lot of guys I [have never] played with before,” said Sani. “We are learning about what each person likes and their tendencies. It’s a growth process.” 

The Rams admit that while today was a victory, they still were not at their best.

“Honestly, I do not think we will see our best volleyball until the [winter semester] just because the way our program is being run,” said Ketrzynski. “We will just get better from here.”

The Rams will play next against the Manitoba Bisons on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre.

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