The battle of Toronto was on display again, but this time in volleyball form, giving GTA U Sports fans a hint of what’s to come when the crowds really show up for the basketball games next week.
Not only was the showdown important in the city, but also across the entirety of the conference, as it was the featured set of games this week on OUA.TV.
Both Ryerson teams made the quick stroll up Yonge street to the Goldring Centre to take on the varsity blues on their home court. Featuring the top three teams on both sides of the gender bracket, the games were expected to be a close affair, and they certainly were.
The women’s teams began the night, with Ryerson on a season undefeated streak, but it was Toronto who snapped it to climb closer to them in the standings. The game was back and forth, as most volleyball games are, but it was the final two sets which presented the excitement of the night. Up until the fourth set, each set was won by at least five points, not exactly the tight volleyball that one would expect from two teams so close in quality.
It was the fourth set where things got interesting. Toronto came close to putting the game to bed in four sets, but a valiant effort from the visitors gave the set to the Rams, as they took the set 26-24 after being tied at deuce for a nearly 15 minutes.
Although the fourth set comeback was admirable, it was certainly draining on the visitors, as they had no gas left for the shortened final set. Toronto was able to walk all over the Rams in the final set, sealing their victory at 15-9.
It was a shining effort for multiple players, including Ryerson’s Calin Wark who had 15 blocks on the night, as well as Toronto’s Alina Dorman who recorded 18 points.
The win for Toronto strips Ryerson of their perfect record and pushes the Varsity Blues up into third place in the division.
On the men’s side of things, it was simple as 1+1 for Toronto, as the momentum from the women’s final set seeped into the men’s match. They won the first set, came close in the second and dominated the third, a very straight forward victory. The win keeps Toronto at the top of the standings, extending their lead over Ryerson to four points. Ryerson, on the other hand, find themselves remaining stagnant at eight points, and could see their position slip by the end of the weekend.
Toronto will now head into the final week of their 2019 portion of the season as they travel to Guelph, while Ryerson will look to rebound quickly against the Trent Excalibur Saturday night on their home court.