Photo by Alex D'Addese

Women's volleyball announces 2019-20 recruiting class

By Jessica Pincente

TORONTO — Ryerson’s women’s volleyball team is set to welcome seven new players to their 2019-20 roster, officially releasing their recruiting class for the upcoming season. 

Coming off their second straight appearance in the U SPORTS national finals, the Rams will look to shore up their roster heading into the 2019-20 season. 

The departure of long-time Ram and reigning OUA East Most Valuable Player Theanna Vernon will certainly be felt both on and off the court next season, but a strong seven-player recruiting class will help the team make their return to greatness as they prepare for their 2019-20 campaign. 

Dustin Reid, head coach of the women’s volleyball team, says he is excited to welcome this year’s freshman class to the roster. 

“We have a very large and diverse class of student-athletes joining our program this season from four different provinces,” says Reid. “I'm excited about their talent but more excited about the energy and positivity that they've shown as competitors repping their teams. 

“We're looking forward to supporting these young women and watching them grow towards their potential as students and members of Ryerson Volleyball.”

The full recruiting class can be found below.

Recruiting Class (Alphabetical Order)

Ashley Ditchfield — Middle Blocker — Windsor, Ont.

Middle blocker Ashley Ditchfield is set to join the Rams this September after spending the last two years with Sky Volley Windsor. On a provincial level, the Windsor native was selected to join Team Ontario Elite at the start of the 2018-19 season. 

“Ashley is a focused and hard-working athlete with great physical potential,” says Reid. “Improvement over the last two years has given her the chance to be an impact player in the OUA.  We're confident she can continue that growth with our group.”

A multi-sport athlete at St. Anne Catholic School, Ditchfield was named 2019 Female Athlete of the Year after serving as captain of both the senior volleyball and soccer teams. She was also heavily involved in her high school community, volunteering over 500 hours during her time at the school and graduating as an Ontario Scholar. 

Ditchfield is set to enter Ryerson’s Psychology program in September. 

“The university has the coaches and players that will make you better and push you to play at the highest level possible,” explains Ditchfield. “I know that Ryerson academically and athletically with make me into the player and student I want to be.”

Alli Pauls — Setter — Winnipeg, Man.

The first of five out-of-province recruits, Alli Pauls joins the Rams after spending the last two seasons with the Cobras Volleyball Club in Winnipeg. Pauls was recently named Volleyball Manitoba’s 2019 18U Player of the Year and is one of the most highly touted recruits in the province. 

“Combining a fierce desire to win with a calm and positive demeanour, Alli puts her attackers in positions where they can be confident and aggressive,” says Reid. “I'm excited to add a great Manitoba talent like Alli to the Rams.”

Before her time with the Cobras, Pauls spent two successful seasons with the Manitoba Junior Bisons where she was named a provincial all-star and the province’s 16U Female Player of the Year. 

A graduate of Mennonite Brethren Collegiate Institute, Pauls and her high school AAAA varsity team recently capped off their 2018-19 campaign as provincial semifinalists. The six-time honour roll student is set to enter Ryerson’s Business Management program in September. 

“I chose Ryerson because it is a great balance between excellent academic programs and competitive athletic programs,” says Pauls. 

Kohl Peters — Middle — Surrey, B.C. 

Kohl Peters is set to join the Rams in September after spending the last seven years with Fraser Valley Volleyball Club. For the Peters family, Ryerson volleyball runs in their blood; Kohl will join sister Molly Peters on the women’s team next year, following in the footsteps of Rams alumni and older brother Mattias Peters (2015-18). 

“We're fortunate to add another member of the amazing Peters family to Ryerson Volleyball,” says Reid. “Kohl is a great student, passionate competitor and ever-positive teammate.  I'm excited to see her forge her own path as a Ram and see the impact she makes at our school.”

Peters is no stranger to success; she has won three provincial championships over her club career and was also a member of the British Columbia provincial team that took home the Canada Cup back in 2018. 

Peters graduated from Pacific Academy in Surrey where she played volleyball for six seasons. Peters recently led her team to a B.C. high school championship and was named a First-Team All-Star for her efforts.  

A four-time honour roll student, Peters will begin her studies in criminology in the fall. 

“I chose Ryerson because I know how hardworking, competitive, and kind the girls and coaching staff are,” says Peters. “On top of that, I can receive an incredible education.”

Jazz Rivest — Outside Hitter — Montreal, Que. 

Montreal native Jasmine Rivest becomes the third out-of-province recruit to join the Rams in 2019. Rivest spent the last two years with the reigning provincial champions, the Ottawa Mavericks. 

“Jasmine has made really great strides in the past year as an attacker and blocker,” says Reid. “She has the athleticism to become a top point scorer at the university level.  We're excited to see her continue to grow as a member of our team.”

Rivest’s Mavericks made history after winning the 18U Division One Tier One provincial championship for the first time in program history last April, something that Rivest names as the highlight of her volleyball career thus far. 

A four-time honour roll student at St. Peter Catholic High School, Rivest will enter Ryerson’s Arts and Contemporary Studies program in the fall. 

“I love the innovative vibe of the school, the support systems and community,” says Rivest on why she chose Ryerson.

Jyoti Ruparell — Libero — Heritage Pointe, Alb. 

Libero Jyoti Ruparell will hit the court for the Rams in 2019 after spending the last two seasons with the Dinos Women’s Volleyball Club in Calgary. Ruparell’s Dinos recently posted a bronze medal finish at the 2019 provincial championships after earning the 2018 17U title last year. 

“Her feel for the ball gives her the potential to become a strong passer and ball control expert in the OUA,” says Reid. “She’s a great student and a hard-working teammate. I expect Jyoti to be a great fit within the culture we've created at Ryerson.”

A five-time academic honours student at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School, Ruparell will enter Ryerson’s Graphic Communications Management program in September. 

“I want to pursue a career in media and design and Ryerson is one of the top, if not the top school in Canada to offer a media and design program,” says Ruparell on why she chose to attend Ryerson. “Coach Dustin really cares about his athletes as people and then as volleyball players rather than putting volleyball first like many coaches do [...] It really felt like home.”

Mikayla Sherrifs — Outside Hitter — Cremona, Alb. 

The second of two recruits from Alberta, Mikayla Sherrifs has spent the last three years with the Mount Royal Cougars Junior Volleyball Club. Sherrifs is coming off two provincial titles — one at the high school level and one at the club level — and is set to join the Rams in the fall. 

“Mikayla has impressed me with her focus and desire to become a strong university player,” notes Reid. “Her ability to score points as an attacker/blocker/server combined with her work ethic will definitely make our team better.”

Sherrifs graduated from Cochrane High School where she co-captained her team en route to the school’s first provincial banner in women’s volleyball. She is set to begin her studies in sociology this fall. 

“I feel that this team will push my potential and help me grow not only as a player but as an individual,” says Sherrifs. “It has been my dream to be a university athlete since I was little. I now get to live my dream by representing the Rams while achieving my degree.”

Britney Veltman — Middle Blocker — Brampton, Ont. 

The final of seven recruits, Britney Veltman is set to join her older sister Lauren on this year’s Rams. Veltman has spent the last four years with the Mississauga Pakmen, winning a provincial title with the team at the 16U and 17U level. 

“Britney is an athletic and versatile player who has the ability to make everyone around her better,” says Reid. “She excels as both a competitor and a teammate.  We're thrilled she's decided to join her sister Lauren as a part of our squad.”

Veltman graduated from Toronto District Christian High School where she captained the volleyball team for the last four years. She was recently named the school’s 2019 Female Athlete of the Year after helping lead the school to three appearances in the York Region Athletic Association (YRAA) A/AA finals. 

Britney Veltman will follow in the footsteps of her older sister both athletically and academically, joining Lauren in Ryerson’s Child and Youth Care program this fall. 

“It was a win-win situation,” says Veltman on her decision to come to Ryerson. “They have the Child and Youth Care program I was interested in and a great volleyball program coached by Dustin Reid.” 


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