Waterloo, Ont. (Toronto Varsity Blues) – The University of Toronto Varsity Blues women's volleyball team defeated the No. 1 nationally ranked Ryerson Rams 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-21) to win their first OUA title since 2016 on Saturday night (March 9) in Waterloo, Ont.
Toronto boasts their 11th OUA title in program history, claiming 10 of the last 23 provincial banners.
The victory guarantees U of T a top-six seed in next week's U SPORTS championship, March 15-17, in Edmonton. The Blues and Rams will join the Canada West champion Trinity Western Spartans, silver medalist Calgary Dinos, UBC Thunderbirds and host Alberta Pandas, as well as the AUS champion Dalhousie Tigers and either the Montreal Carabins or McGill Martlets next week in Edmonton. The seeding and scheduling will be announced tomorrow evening (March 10).
Fourth-year right side hitter Alina Dormann led all players with 18.5 points off of 17 kills and one ace to earn player of the match honours for Toronto.
Fifth-year veteran Anna Feore added 14.5 points off of 10 kills, 2.5 blocks and two aces, while sophomore middle Jenna Woock tallied 11 points off of seven kills, a game-high three aces and one block.
Libero Sophia Currier added a game-high 13 digs and rookie setter Hayley Goodwin tallied 39 assists and eight digs in the win.
After suffering an early 6-2 deficit, the Blues rallied and held a narrow 16-15 lead at the first set technical timeout. Toronto closed it out on a 9-5 run to take a 1-0 match lead, 25-20.
U of T got out to a 7-3 advantage in the second set, but it was the Rams who battled back on a 10-4 run as Toronto held a narrow 16-15 lead at the tech timeout. U of T regained a three-point cushion thanks to a Woock ace and Dormann kill, but the Rams kept things close. A big block from Feore and a final kill from Dormann gave the Blues a 2-0 match lead with a 25-21 second set victory.
The third set was a back-and-forth affair and was all tied up at 8-8. Leading 16-14 at the technical time out, Toronto recorded four straight points. Ryerson brought the set back within two, but another final kill from Dormann sealed the 25-21 victory.
"We played strongly," said head coach Kristine Drakich. "Everybody contributed in every way. There was just such harmony on the court. We try to get everybody playing their best at the end and that's what happened here. Ryerson's an incredibly strong team and we served tough on them to take them a little bit out of their rhythm. We kept playing defence and kept be aggressive and it was incredible to watch."