Journal Athletes of the Week

Shannon Mullins
Women’s Wrestling

At the CIS Women’s Wrestling Championship, held at Brock University March 3 and 4, women’s team captain Shannon Mullins capped off a strong season by placing sixth in the 55-kg weight category.

In just her second year of wrestling, she was the only representative from the three-member Queen’s women’s team, and travelled alone because no Queen’s men’s wrestlers qualified. The points from her showing gave the Queen’s team an eleventh-place tie at the championships. Mullins has been consistent for the Gaels this year and placed second at the OUA championships, the best result by a Queen’s wrestler. She narrowly lost a close battle in the gold medal final to Jessie Bondy of the Brock Badgers, and was recognized as a first-team OUA All-Star for her efforts.

She also had a handful of top-three finishes in tournaments throughout this season, including events at Concordia and McMaster, and also came away with the Gaels’ only medal at the Queen’s Open Wrestling Tournament, winning bronze in the 59-kg class.

Mullins has battled through adversity this year, overcoming a bout with salmonella poisoning in first semester, as well as nagging injuries.

In just her second year of eligibility, however, she is looking ahead to next season.

Mullins said she is thankful for the support she has received from teammates and coaching staff, in particular her training partner, Justin Ma. She added the experience she and the team have gained this year will be invaluable in their pursuit of OUA and CIS gold medals next year.

Adam Simac
Men’s Volleyball

After what he says was a shaky personal start to the season, men’s volleyball middle Adam Simac rebounded to play a significant role on the squad, culminating in a phenomenal performance in the CIS men’s volleyball championship tournament this past weekend. In his first year as a starter and second year of eligibility, Simac has had a profound effect on the team this season. When asked about his performance this year, head coach Brenda Willis said that he had not only been a key factor all year, making other teams think twice about running middle, but was the top blocker in the OUA.

This season, Simac had 50 blocks and 130 kills, and averaged 2.45 kills per game. He also posted 3.1 points per game, good for twelfth in the OUA. Willis pointed to a regular season match against Western, where Queen’s won the first set 25-16, and after Simac left the game with an injury, the Gaels lost the next two sets and the game.

Simac has also demonstrated the ability to step up in pressure situations, notching five blocks in the OUA final against Ryerson.

In the CIS championships, Simac boasted the top kill efficiency on the squad, helping them to their best showing in three appearances since the adoption of the eight-team format in 1985-86.

He fared well in the match against Trinity Western University, a team with some of the best middles in the country. In the Gaels’ match against the host McMaster Marauders, Simac posted seven kills, as well as firing back a Marauder attack to win the first set and assisting on the game-winning block with Luke Lichty.

Simac credits much of his success to his teammates and the coaching staff, as well as the hard work of the athletic therapy staff in getting him back to game shape quickly after suffering two ankle injuries this season.

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