Sports in brief

Pair of teams announce recruits

One team coming off an early playoff exit named their new recruits last month, while a squad that finished one win shy of a title did the same.

Men’s volleyball added outside hitters Ben Harper and Dylan Hunt, as well as setter Joraver Sangha. All three have trained with the Ontario provincial program.

The trio join a veteran Gaels squad that was eliminated in the opening round of the OUA playoffs last season.

Football also declared 11 signees in April, including quarterback Nate Hobbs, one of Canada Football Chat’s top 100 prospects for the year.

The signees also included a pair of Kingston area recruits in defensive back Farhan Imtiaz and defensive lineman Jeff Vanderspank.

Last season saw the Gaels go 7-1 in the regular season, before falling in the Yates Cup to the Western Mustangs.

— Sean Sutherland

Women’s volleyball, men’s rugby coaches step down

The men’s rugby and women’s volleyball programs will be under new leadership next season.

Men’s rugby head coach Peter Huigenbos announced he’ll be taking a leave of absence for the 2014 season, though he’ll stay on as a performance analyst with Queen’s. His new position is the first of its kind in the OUA.

Huigenbos has spent the last 10 seasons at the helm of the Gaels, leading the team to the last two OUA titles and three overall during his tenure at Queen’s.

Gary Gilks will take over for Huigenbos, after serving as his assistant for the past decade. Gilks also spent time as the Gaels’ interim coach in 2011 while Huigenbos was coaching with the Canadian national team.

Last month, Joely Christian-Macfarlane also stepped down after seven seasons in charge of the women’s volleyball program.

Christian-Macfarlane led the Gaels to the playoffs in all but one of her years as head coach, with the highlight being the program’s first-ever provincial championship during the 2011-12 season.

Queen’s named Alberta Pandas assistant coach Michael Ling as Christian-Macfarlane’s successor.

— Sean Sutherland

OUA changes playoff, conference structure

Men’s basketball will no longer be conference rivals with powerhouse schools Ottawa and Carleton.

The OUA announced major changes to both their playoff and divisional set-ups for men’s and women’s basketball at their Annual General Meetings earlier this month.

Part of the changes was a divisional re-alignment, with the OUA moving from two divisions to four. Queen’s teams will be members of the East division, alongside Ryerson, Toronto and York.

All four teams were members of the East division last season, where the Gaels captured the OUA East title on the women’s side. The men’s team placed sixth, finishing behind both Ryerson and York.

Additionally, the number of regular season games has been cut. In previous years, schools played 22-game seasons, but starting next year, teams in the East will play just 19.

The new playoff system will see a March Madness-style bracket being used to determine the OUA champion. The top three teams in each division will make the playoffs, where they’ll be ranked based on results against other playoff teams.

The top four teams in the conference will receive a bye to the OUA quarter-finals, before taking part in a Final Four hosted by the highest remaining seed to determine the provincial title.

— Sean Sutherland

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