Women’s basketball goes undefeated
The Rams women's basketball team successfully played a perfect 14-0 undefeated regular season—the first in program history. The team started their regular season battling against the Queen’s University Gaels, narrowly winning the match 68-65.
The team is led by head coach Carly Clarke and lead-assistant Coach Shae Dheensaw.
This season, Stefanija Mrvaljevic was a league-leader in field goal percentage during conference play. Senior guard Mikaela Dodig was also top-ten in assists and steals as well as averaging a conference-best 33.6 minutes per game.
The Rams clinched a Critelli Cup Championship on March 26 with a 22-point comeback win over Brock. Up next the team heads to nationals in Kingston, Ont., which tips-off March 31.
The removal of ‘Ryerson’
In June 2021, the Rams women's basketball team kickstarted the movement for the removal of the Ryerson name from the university’s sports teams.
After the announcement made by the women’s basketball team in solidarity with the Indigenous community, the Rams women’s hockey team also decided to follow suit and formally remove “Ryerson” from their namesake.
Student athletes across each sport independently enacted this change and urged the remaining teams to do the same.
As part of the initiative, the Rams varsity teams had new jerseys made, with the removal of the Ryerson name, leaving only the ‘R’ logo on the front. The athletics teams were referred to as the Rams for the 2021-22 season.
The university’s renaming is still in progress and a new name is expected to be finalized by the end of the winter semester, and implemented next academic year.
Nathaniel Brooks joins the Arizona Coyotes
Rams men’s hockey associate coach Nathaniel Brooks joined the National Hockey League (NHL)’s Arizona Coyotes coaching staff in the fall of 2021 during its development camp. He also helped lead an anti-racism campaign in the league during 2022.
In September 2021, the Coyotes launched an internship program to help promote diversity in hockey. Brooks was selected to help initiate the campaign alongside Duante Abercrombie, the assistant coach for men’s hockey at Stevenson University in Maryland.
Earlier this year, Brooks was the subject of NHL Bound, a hockey documentary that dropped in the winter also starring Abercrombie.
It was another way to push the conversation on representation and diversity, as well as share the experiences of Brooks and his hockey career.
He has been with the Rams since 2014 and continues to be on the staff after his internship coaching with the Coyotes.
A comeback for women’s volleyball
Despite a tough season and not being able to secure a spot in the playoffs, the Rams women’s volleyball team was able to come together to win their last three games of the year.
The team battled the Trent University Excalibur and Royal Military College Paladins in March and dominated in a clean three sets every game.
The athletes celebrated their wins with the university while also bidding farewell to five graduating seniors at their last game.
This may have not been the season the team was hoping for, but the women kept their heads held high and had two athletes winning Ontario University Athletics honours. Middle Ashley Ditchfield was named to the OUA East Second-Team and libero Mary Ann Rioflorido was named to the OUA East All-Rookie Team.
Changes for the men’s volleyball team
This season wasn’t an easy one for the Rams men’s volleyball team. As a fairly young group, the team went through many changes.
Niko Rukavina, the team’s interim head coach took over coaching responsibilities after head coach Matthew Harris took a leave of absence. Rukavina was the team’s main support as they headed into the playoffs in fourth position within the eastern conference. The team ended the regular season with a 6-9 record.
They were able to advance to the OUA quarter-finals, before falling to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues.
From the East division, first-year Jacob Walker earned Rookie of the Year and All-Rookie Team honours from the OUA. He also earned a spot in the U Sports All-Rookie Team. Along with Walker, libero Lhexen Rabit was named a First-Team All-Star, setter Saad Shaikh was named a Second-Team All-Star and outside hitter Lucas Yang was named to the OUA East All-Rookie Team.
Next steps for the men’s soccer team
In November 2021, the Rams men’s soccer team played their final game of the season in an OUA semi-final match against the York University Lions.
The team had a near-perfect season, winning nine games, losing two and tying one. The semi-final against the Lions went into overtime, which ended the Rams' journey to become champions after a crushing 3-2 loss.
The team will be going through changes next year, with their current captain, Abdallah El-Chanti graduating and midfielder Jacob Carlos getting drafted by the Canadian Premier League (CPL)’s Valour FC.