The better team won.
It’s that simple.
And for Ryerson, it’s a pedigree that they’re trying to attain as their men’s volleyball team continues to rebuild.
After a three-win season last year, it shouldn’t be surprising that the Rams failed to defeat last year’s OUA runner-up and regular season champion Western Mustangs.
“We have to swallow all these losses against better teams, like Western today,” said Ryerson head coach Mirek Porosa.
Despite the loss (28-26, 25-14, 25-20), there were encouraging signs on the hard court for the Rams.
Although the second and third set came relatively easily to the Mustangs (2-0), Ryerson fought hard, and even held set point in the first set.
After trailing by six points on two separate occasions, including (19-13), the Rams’ Milad Chitan made a huge solo play that turned the momentum around.
The fourth-year player came from the right side of the net, all the way to the other left pole and blocked a Western slam that would have gone for an easy point.
That effort seemingly changed everything, and Ryerson had the momentum and managed to win back-to-back set points for Western to draw even at 24.
Then, the Rams had a set point of their own at (25-24), and nearly put it away after two miraculous diving digs by Rams libero Brian Batista Bettencourt and George Sakvarelidze, only to have the Mustangs to eventually put it away for a point, and eventually the set.
“Slowly we started turning it around, we got momentum going and made it very interesting … unfortunately we weren’t able to put the ball away,” said Porosa.
And that was as close as Ryerson came to a victory, as they never saw set point for the rest of the match as the Rams were over matched against a seasoned team.
Western had only two errors in the first set, making things even more difficult on the young Ryerson team.
“It’s extremely hard to play against a team who is executing their offence … (and can) pass dimes,” said the veteran coach.
And after having a good game against Windsor, the Rams had trouble shutting down Western’s two main strikers in Garrett May, and Justin Scapinello.
Both of whom and more kills than the opposing Rams leader; May had a match-high 17 while Scapinello chipped in with nine of his own.
With the loss the Rams (1-1) failed to win back-to-back games, a record that stretched back to the 2008-2009 OUA season.
Ryerson returns to action in Kingston versus Queens next Saturday at 2 ET.