Evaluating the winter term

The Journal’s sports editors hand out report cards for the Gaels

The Journal’s sports department graded the winter Gaels’ teams on their records, improvement and performance relative to expectations.
The Journal’s sports department graded the winter Gaels’ teams on their records, improvement and performance relative to expectations.
Credit: 
Illustration by Tyler Ball
Queen’s forward Alaina Porter drives to the net Jan. 9 against York. The women’s basketball team lost in the quarterfinals.
Queen’s forward Alaina Porter drives to the net Jan. 9 against York. The women’s basketball team lost in the quarterfinals.
Photo: 

Men’s volleyball
Last year: 14-6
Grade: A-
This year: 16-4
Grade: A-

It was another strong season for the men’s volleyball team. The Gaels improved their regular-season record despite losing Devon Miller, Chris Vandyk, Dan McCrae and Nick Gralewicz to graduation and made it to the OUA finals for the second-straight year. Once again they couldn’t top the McMaster Marauders in the playoffs despite besting them in the regular season. Second-year outside hitter Joren Zeeman continued his strong run of play and was named a second-team All-Canadian as well as a first-team OUA all-star, while Jeff DeMeza was named a second team OUA all-star. The future looks bright for the team, with many of their key players in their first or second year of eligibility.

Figure skating
Last year: B
This year: A-

The figure skating team turned in a strong performance this season. Highlights of their year included an overall silver at the Queen’s Invitational and five gold medals at the Winter Invitational. They ended on a high note with an overall silver medal at the OUA Championships—a step up from the bronze they earned last season— and finished only six points behind the victorious University of Guelph Gryphons. Four Queen’s skaters were selected as OUA all-stars and head coach Rhonda McKnight was named the OUA Coach of the Year.

Women’s volleyball
Last year: 7-12
Grade: C+
This year: 10-9
Grade: B+

The women’s volleyball program continued to make progress this year under head coach Joely Christian, who was named Queen’s third full-time coach this summer. Despite a lineup dominated by first- and second-year players, the Gaels improved their regular-season record and finished over .500. In the playoffs, they took the eventual OUA champion York Lions to five sets and were one point away from victory, but couldn’t hang on for the win. Second-year players Katie Matthews, Colleen Ogilvie and Lorna Button were selected to the OUA second all-star team, while Natalie Gray was named to the OUA all-rookie team.

Women’s hockey
Last year: 12-9-6
Grade:  B
This year: 13-13-1
Grade: B

Women’s hockey improved on last year’s record with a 13-13-1 mark but again lost in straight games to the Laurier Golden Hawks in the OUA semifinals. Although the team had a rough mid-season slump, they recovered in time for the playoffs and knocked out the nationally-ranked University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the quarterfinals. A series of strong individual performances also marked the year, with Becky Conroy, Kelsey Thomson and Elizabeth Kench finishing in the top-20 in the OUA scoring table.

Track and field
Last year: A-
This year: B

Track and field got shut out at the nationals, bringing home no medals and finishing eighth overall in the country. The men’s 4x400 metre team won OUA silver and was half a second away from a CIS bronze. Leslie Sexton also had a strong year, finishing second in the 3,000 metres at the OUA championships but was injured for nationals. Although the team brought home fewer medals than last year, they did smash a host of Queen’s records.

Men’s hockey
Last year: 13-12-3
Grade: A-
This year: 12-13-3
Grade: B

The men’s hockey team couldn’t follow up last year’s divisional championship this season, missing the playoffs despite a similar record. The Gaels couldn’t find the net all season, scoring a meagre 57 goals in 28 games, the least in the OUA. Goaltender Brady Morrison had no trouble stepping into the big shoes of last year’s OUA East MVP Ryan Gibb, putting up a save percentage of .933 and earning an OUA first-team all-star nod.

Men’s squash
Last year: 22-14
Grade: B
This year: 20-16
Grade: B

The men’s squash team finished the year with a 20-16 record, fourth-best in the OUA. At the OUA championships, the Gaels lost in the semi-finals to the Western Mustangs, who would go on to claim their 26th consecutive championship. Paul Gartenburg and Alex Ford were selected as OUA second team all-stars.

Fencing
Last year: B
This year: C+

The fencing team was in rebuilding mode this year. After bringing home multiple medals in last year’s provincial
championships, they came away this year empty-handed. They did pick up several medals in various events over the course of the year, though, including the
provincial qualifiers.

Men’s basketball
Last year: 14-8
Grade: B+
This year: 7-15
Grade: C

This year was a step back for the men’s basketball team, but an expected one. It lost three key players from last season in Simon Mitchell, Travis Mitchell and Jon Ogden, and their season took a nosedive when they lost star forward Mitch Leger to injury shortly after the Christmas break. With him out of the team, they lost 10 straight games before beating the winless Royal Military College Paladins on the final day of the season to get into the playoffs, where they lost 63-48 to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues in the first round. The season was notable for the emergence of rookie forward Bernard Burgessen and the play of Scott Stinson, who joined the team partway through the year after the football season ended. Leger was named to the OUA second
all-star team.

Men’s curling
Last year: B+
This year: C

The men’s curling team did not repeat last year’s OUA success. They ended the season with a 4-4 record and dropped three straight games in the provincial championships to come home empty-handed.

Women’s basketball
Last year: 9-13
Grade: C
This year: 7-15
Grade: C

It was a difficult year for the women’s basketball team. They lost three key players in Sarah Barnes, Teddi Firmi and Jess Selinger. They struggled to a 7-15 finish and lost to the Carleton Ravens for the second year in a row in the first round of the playoffs. One bright spot came from guard Brittany Moore, who set a Queen’s record with a 40-point night on Jan. 7. Moore was selected as a
first-team OUA all-star.

Wrestling
Last year: C+
This year: C+

The wrestling team came away from the OUA championship this year empty handed. The Gaels finished last in both the men’s and women’s categories picking up a total of six and seven points, respectively. First-year team member Kellie Heney finished fourth at the OUA championships and second at the Ontario
junior championships.

Nordic skiing
Last year: D+
This year: D+

The Gaels didn’t have a
successful trip to the OUA championship this year. The men’s 15 kilometre relay team finished 11th, and the women’s 7.5 kilometre relay team finished seventh. Julie McVicar repeated last year’s OUA all-star performance, recording a fifth place finish in the 10 kilometre race and sixth in the 5 kilometre freestyle race.

Women’s squash
Last year: 12-12
Grade: A+
This year: 5-19
Grade: D

This year showed a sharp downturn for the women’s squash team. Fresh off their OUA title last season, they stumbled to a 5-19 record this year after losing some key personnel and finished last in the OUA. Hilary Dugan was selected as a second-team all-star.

Women’s curling
Last year: B+
This year: D

The women’s curling team fell hard this year after a provincial silver medal last year. They completed the season with a 2-6 record, missing the playoffs.

Please see next week’s Journal for the Athletes of the Term.

When commenting, be considerate and respectful of writers and fellow commenters. Try to stay on topic. Spam and comments that are hateful or discriminatory will be deleted. Our full commenting policy can be read here.