Expectations are high for the new year

The Journal sports staff drop the puck with its set of expectations for winter term sports teams

Sports staff Amrit Ahluwalia and Jake Edmiston outline their expectations for winter-term teams. For the end of year report card, pick up Issue 39 of the Journal on April 2.
Sports staff Amrit Ahluwalia and Jake Edmiston outline their expectations for winter-term teams. For the end of year report card, pick up Issue 39 of the Journal on April 2.
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Defenceman Stephan Chabot eludes an RMC player during the Gaels’ 4-3 shootout loss at the Constantine Arena on Nov. 11.
Defenceman Stephan Chabot eludes an RMC player during the Gaels’ 4-3 shootout loss at the Constantine Arena on Nov. 11.
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Women’s volleyball middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie spikes the ball during the Gaels five-set win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Nov. 20.
Women’s volleyball middle hitter Colleen Ogilvie spikes the ball during the Gaels five-set win over the University of Toronto Varsity Blues on Nov. 20.
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Women’s basketball Wing Katie Guthrie drives to the basket during the Gaels Jan. 9 win over the Ryerson Rams.
Women’s basketball Wing Katie Guthrie drives to the basket during the Gaels Jan. 9 win over the Ryerson Rams.
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Men's Volleyball

Last year (grade, record): A-, 16-4, OUA silver medal

Significant losses: Jeff DeMeza, Stuart Hamilton

The men lost their captain after Jeff DeMeza’s departure but outside-hitter Joren Zeeman and middle-hitter Michael Amoroso are qualified to fill the void after competing with the Canadian Junior National team this summer in India. The Gaels are still a young team, with fifth-year middle-hitter Sam Pedlow the only player above his third year of eligibility. The young core got the necessary high-pressure exposure last season.

Already 8-2 this season, the men’s volleyball team needs to outdo last year’s OUA silver medal and make an appearance on the CIS podium for top marks. The team has progressed enough to put them among the top contenders for first in the OUA, but the leadership needed for a strong CIS championship performance has yet to be seen.

Figure Skating

Last year: A-, OUA silver medal

Significant losses: Katie Farrow, Cathryn Schroeder and Janel Young

The figure skating team has been improving consistently for the past three years. Two years ago they picked up the OUA bronze medal; last year they won an OUA silver. For top marks this season, the figure skating team will have to win OUA gold, a goal right in their grasp.

Women's Volleyball

Last year: B+, 10-9, out in first round of OUA playoffs

Significant losses: None

Last year’s premature playoff exit should provide the motivation needed to propel the women’s volleyball team past the first round of the OUA playoffs. The talent of players like outside-hitter Lorna Button and middle-hitter Colleen Ogilvie could lead the team to a provincial podium appearance, but the team struggled more with mental composure than skill level last year. They’ll need to win OUA silver or gold in order to garner top marks, but it’s probably going to take another year before this team gets past bronze. The team has already accumulated a 5-5 record this season.

Women's Hockey

Last year: B, 13-13-1, out in OUA semi finals

Significant losses: Melissa John, Victoria Kaufmann, Amanda Morra and Cassie Sparks The women’s hockey team has been a force in OUA hockey for years, but hasn’t managed to top the eight-time OUA champion Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks yet. Though the 13-3-1 Gaels have improved, already winning the same number of games they did all of last season, Laurier remains arguably the best team in the OUA and we don’t see the Gaels topping them this season. For top marks, they’ll have to win OUA gold and compete for the CIS championship, but we think the best the Gaels will do this year is silver.

Track and Field

Last year: B, eighth in OUA, eighth in CIS

Significant losses: Leslie Sexton and Lauren Zintel

Track and field faces the same hurdle that the cross-country team dealt with after the graduation of runner Leslie Sexton. They’ll need to overcome it and medal at the provincial and national level for top marks this season. The team retained enough talent to make that happen with the return of OUA silver-medalist Tyler Nightingale for a fifth year and women’s team MVP Emily Young.

Men's Hockey

Last year: B, 12-13-3, missed the playoffs

Significant losses: Billy Burke, Grant Horvath and Brady Morrison

The men’s hockey team lacked scoring and missed the playoffs last year, but still had the benefit of exceptional goaltending from Brady Morrison. Though the Gaels improved their scoring touch during the off-season, with Morrison gone the Gaels struggled defensively on their way to a 10-8-1 record so far this season. New goaltender Steele DeFazio, who played last season with the Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League’s Wellington Dukes, could bring top tending back to the Tricolour net, but we still don’t think they can compete with McGill or Western for OUA supremacy. For top marks we expect them to make the OUA semifinals, which is entirely within their grasp.

Fencing

Last year: C+

Significant losses: Sarah Babineau, Ashley Chin, Kristina Han, Jamie MacDonald, Anton Oentoro and Mary-Clair Yelovich

Although the fencing team managed to retain strong competitors like Scott Bowman, Jack Chen and Christian Petrozza on the men’s side, the women’s side has lost some of their strongest fencers in Ashley Chin, Kristina Han, Mary-Clair Yelovich and Stacey McDonald. While they may not be able to compete with perennial power teams like Toronto and Royal Military College this year, they may turn some heads next year. As for this year, they’ll get top marks if they medal.

Men's Basketball

Last year: C, 7-15, out in first round of playoffs

Significant losses: Scott Stinson and Rob Shaw

Men’s basketball lost some height with the graduation of six-foot-six forward Rob Shaw and six-foot-seven forward Scott Stinson. Although with the leadership and talent of forward Mitch Leger backed by strong point guard Baris Ondul, there is no reason for last year’s playoff disappointment to be repeated. For top marks, the team will have to do better than just getting past the first round and place in the top three at OUA championships.

Men's Curling

Last year: C, 4-4, lost all OUA championship games

Significant losses: Alec Cram The men’s curling team is coming off a rough year, after dropping all their OUA championship games. That said, they haven’t lost many curlers from last year, and we expect them to medal in the OUAs. For top marks, though, they’ll need to bring home gold.

Women's Basketball

Last year: C, 7-15, out in first round of playoffs

Significant losses: Lauren Scott, Lyndsey Gauley, Anne Murphy

The explosiveness of guard Brittany Moore and the presence of six-foot post Erin Skippon should mean more success for the women’s basketball team. The team needs to get OUA gold this year for top marks.

Wrestling

Last year: C+, last in OUA

Significant losses: Kelvin Hamilton

It’s bail or take water for wrestling. With no accolades to dwell on from last year, this team needs to make some serious improvements or suffer another last-place finish. With last year’s team mostly intact they should be able to climb into the upper half of the OUA standings. They’ll have to get as high as the fifth spot for top marks.

Women's Curling

Last year: D, 2-6, missed the playoffs

Significant losses: Lisa Farnell

The women’s curling team lost 2009 OUA First-Team All Star skip Lisa Farnell last season, which will make it difficult for them to improve on last year’s results. For top marks the curling team will have to be one of the top two teams in the OUA, and we expect them to have a .500 record by the end of the season.

Win $3,000 at the ARC!

Athletics and Recreation is offering $3,000 towards your student account if your name is drawn at Sunday’s innagural volleyball game at the Main Gym in the ARC. To enter the draw, buy one of the white t-shirts for $5 at the Queen’s Athletics booth set up at the entrance to the ARC.
Regular student admission to the game is still free.

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