Winter Varsity Sports Power Rankings

Women's hockey celebrating.
Women's hockey celebrating.
Photo: 

1. Women's Basketball

Robyn Pearson posting up against Windsor in the OUA Final Four.  Journal File Photos                             

The women’s basketball team had an incredible regular season this year, finishing with a record of 18-1, the best in the team’s history. In post-season play, the team picked up a silver at the OUA playoffs and fourth place at the U Sports national championships, as well as individual honours.

The women’s basketball team started the season strong, bringing in a few new recruits. These included second-year post Veronika Lavergne who previously played in the NCAA and rookie wing Bridget Mulholland, who was named an OUA All-Rookie. 

The team’s strength was in the depth of their roster — with any player having the potential to take over a game. Three particularly successful players were Emily Hazlett, Robyn Pearson and Andrea Priamo, who were all awarded the honour of OUA All-Stars. 

Finally, head coach Dave Wilson, was given a double honour this season. Wilson was named both OUA Coach of the Year and U Sports Coach of the year.  

2. Men's Hockey

Brett Gibson shaking hands with a McGill player in the OUA Playoffs.                                                   

Last year, the Sports section said the men’s hockey team needed to prove themselves in the playoffs before being considered in the upper-tier of the OUA.

This team did just that. 

After beating the Ottawa Gee-Gees and then the Concordia Stingers in the OUA playoffs, Queen’s matched up against the McGill Redmen in the OUA East final. The Gaels made quick work of the Redmen, sweeping their Montreal rivals and moving into the OUA Final — a feat they haven’t achieved in 37 years.

Although they lost to York in the final and to the University of New Brunswick in the first round of the U Sports University Cup, the men’s hockey team had a successful season. In the regular season, they snapped a 31-game losing streak to McGill, and were constantly ranked in the U-Sports top-ten.

With their core group of players returning, high expectations will be placed on Brett Gibson’s squad for next season.

3. Women's Hockey

Claire McKellar driving to the net against SMU in the U Sports National Championship.                                    

Hosting the U Sports National Championships, the women’s hockey team was guaranteed a spot at the tournament. The Gaels finished their up-and-down season in sixth place nationally. 

Before the tournament, the Gaels had been eliminated from the OUA quarterfinals in a double overtime loss to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. 

The team’s strong points this year came from veteran goaltender Stephanie Pascal and forward Addi Halladay. 

Pascal spent a year on the sidelines due to a serious concussion from a point shot to the mask. During her first season back she’s been a consistent strength for the team in the net. She was ranked ninth in the OUA this year with a save percentage of .924 in the regular season — impressive even without considering she spent 377 days off the ice. 

The team’s third-year left wing Halladay was ranked sixth in the OUA this season, with 13 goals and three assists.

4. Men's Volleyball

Men's volleyball team huddled together.                                                                                                                                                                                               
Despite the loss of five starters, the men’s volleyball team turned some heads in the OUA this season. 

Led by Markus Trence, the Gaels had one of the most high-powered offences in the province. On the season, Trence finished second in the OUA with 261 kills, while setter Jamie Wright — who won’t be returning to the team next year — finished second in the league with 9.75 assist per set. 

After starting the season 5-1, the Gaels suffered two, three-game losing streaks throughout the season, seeing them finish with a 10-8 record. Finishing fourth in the OUA East, Queen’s was matched-up against the undefeated McMaster in the first round of the playoffs, losing in straight sets.

With only a few players graduating, look for the team to continue to grow. Trence will be returning for his fifth-year of eligibility next year, accompanied by fellow outside hitter Zac Hutcheson. In Hutcheson’s first year starting for the Gaels, he led the OUA with 137 digs.

5. Women's Volleyball

Women's volleyball celebrates a point at the ARC.                                                                                                    

The women’s volleyball team had a tough season this year. While they seemed to be on an upward trajectory throughout the season, they were handed the same first-round exit in the OUA playoffs that they’ve had the past three seasons in a row.

While the first half of the team’s season was a difficult one with many close losses, the team was going into the OUA playoffs on a seemingly strong note, winning seven of their final 10 regular season games. They ended the regular season with a 10-9 record. 

However, their strong play leading up to playoffs didn’t seem to matter against the Western Mustangs who swept them in the quarterfinals. 

One of the team’s strongest players this year was captain Caroline Livingston, who was also named an OUA East All-Star, alongside fellow outside hitter Isabelle Korchinski. Danielle Corrigan was named to the OUA All-Rookie team.

6. Men's Basketball

Isse Ibrahim calling a play.                                                                                                                                                

At 6-1, the men’s basketball team was one of the strongest teams coming out of the winter break. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t be able to keep their strong play going. 

The Gaels went on to drop their next 11 games, finishing the season with a 70-60 win against York. Despite the losing streak, Queen’s snuck into the playoffs with a 7-12 record, losing their first-round game to the Nipissing Lakers.

Struggling to find consistency, the Gaels relied on graduating guard Sukhpreet Singh. In February, Singh made Gaels history, surpassing Mitch Leger for the program’s all-time scoring title in an away loss to U of T. Singh capped off his career with an OUA All-Star selection.

With Singh moving on from his time as a Gael, the team will need to concentrate on filling the void he’ll leave next season. 

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