By: Manuela Vega
After their post-season was cut short at the hands of the Windsor Lancers in the 2018-19 OUA quarterfinals, the Ryerson Rams men’s volleyball team aims to return to the court with enough force to land a spot in Nationals.
Head coach Matthew Harris stressed the goal of reaching the final four in order to get there.
“If we get a chance to get back into a quarter final again, everybody is going to have last year’s quarter final as experience,” said Harris. “We’re really excited to have that opportunity again.”
The Rams are approaching this season with drive, chemistry and three rookies (Trent Ketrzynski, Alex King and Derek Webster) that have impressive records under their belt.
Second-year outside hitter Xander Ketrzysnki led the Rams through last year’s playoffs. With 329 total kills, Ketrzynski averaged 4.84 kills per set. This year, he is confident in the Rams’ teamwork to take them further, despite the readjustment that comes with a new year.
“No matter who we play, we always bring a certain ferocity,” said Ketrzynski. “That’s one thing I think we want to keep just going forward with.”
Achieving the title of 2018-19 title of U SPORTS Rookie of the Year, Ketrzynski isn’t interested in winning more awards. With high hopes for the season, he wants to see his team do well at Nationals.
“My aspirations just lie more with my team goals,” Ketrzynski said. “I’m not looking to win awards; I’d rather win the championship as a team.”
The Rams are taking advantage of the time they have before their first match of the season. Harris has taken the pre-season as an opportunity to integrate new recruits into the team and get everyone on the same page.
“Introducing our systems [and] working on our basic skills is really gonna set us up for some good success early on,” said Harris. “Building our culture through standards and expectations has been a big part of our pre-season.”
The Rams will be kicking off the season against the Toronto Varsity Blues in the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Saturday, Oct. 26.