Varsity Clubs round-up: February edition

Strong showings from women’s squash, curling, and figure skating

Women's squash won their sixth consecutive OUA title.
Credit: 
Supplied by Amelia Knapp

Women’s squash dynasty remains unstoppable, women’s curling moves on to U SPORTS championship, and figure skating earns accolades at OUA Championships.

 

Women’s squash wins sixth consecutive OUA title, Benson receives numerous honours, men fall to fourth

The women’s and men’s squash teams traveled to Brock University on the weekend of Feb. 7 to 9 to compete in the OUA Championships.

As reigning OUA Champs, the women went into the tournament looking to protect their title for a sixth consecutive year, and they did exactly that.

Overcoming their closest competitor, the Waterloo Warriors, Queen’s reclaimed the OUA Championship once more with an overall record of 24-4.

The key to clinching the gold for the Gaels this year was rookie Marlow Benson. Her aggression, innovation, and poise coincide to make her the most intimidating player in the OUA, and on this weekend, her confidence on the court was unrivalled.

Completing her first year in the league, Benson went undefeated 12-0 in the championship tournament.

To no surprise, Benson was honoured with the OUA Women’s Rookie of the Year, the OUA Women’s MVP, and the OUA Peak Performer. Queen’s captain Amelia Knapp joined Benson in receiving an OUA All-Star designation.

Head Coach Lisa Coates was also honoured with the OUA Women’s Coach of the Year due to her undisputed composure and championship mentality. With Benson’s star rising, the Queen’s women’s squash dynasty doesn’t look to be in peril any time soon.

The men’s squash team found themselves going into the championship tournament mid-pack, having found both success and upsets throughout the regular season invitationals.

The Gaels ended the tournament with a respectable fourth-place overall finish, walking away with a 2-3 record. The leaders of the pack, the Western Mustangs, proved to be too strong for Queen’s, as they claimed their 37th consecutive title.

The men will look to figure out Goliath in the 2020-2021 season.

 

Women’s curling clinches U SPORTS berth with OUA silver, men fall in quarter finals

Both the women and men’s curling teams traveled to the University of Guelph from Feb. 13 to 17 to compete in the OUA Championship tournament.

As reigning OUA Champions, the women’s team had everything to lose going into the gruelling five-day tournament, the weight falling heavily on last year’s R.W. Pugh Fair Play Award recipient, Skip Mary Fay.

The reigning champs ended round robin play at the top of the heap, holding a record of 6-1. The Gaels continued to dominate by defeating both Waterloo and Guelph in the playoffs, finding themselves in the championship game once more.

Matched up with the powerful McMaster Marauders, Queen’s had a slow start, allowing the Marauders to take control of the game early. But it wasn’t long before the Gaels’ championship mentality kicked in—they tied the game up at three apiece in the fifth end.

McMaster put up three in the sixth, and Queen’s answered with two in the seventh. Heading into the eighth end down 6-5, the Gaels couldn’t steal any points, and McMaster prevented a Queen’s repeat with a 7-5 victory over the Tricolour.

Winning the OUA silver, the Gaels punched their ticket to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, where they will compete in the U SPORTS championships through March 11-15. The Gaels will look to avenge their OUA championship loss and claim the national title.

Lead Kenna Bartlett and Skip Mary Fay received OUA All-Star nods.

In the same weekend, the men’s curling team found themselves in the playoff running, ending the pool play with an impressive 5-2 record.

However, the rocks fell too heavy for the men in the quarterfinals, and they bowed out to the eventual OUA Champion, the Laurier Golden Hawks by a score of 8-4.

Lead Colin Schnurr was honoured with an OUA All-Star award.

 

Figure skating places fifth overall, multiple Gaels land podium finishes

The figure skating team traveled to Ryerson University from Feb. 10 to 11 to compete in the OUA Championships, claiming fifth place overall with a total of 32 points.

They were well separated from sixth-place Carleton, who finished with 23. Even so, the Toronto Varsity Blues blinded the competition with their 123-point win—their closest competition, Western, was 35 points behind. However, the overall team points do not do justice to the efforts of the Gaels on the ice.

Queen’s duo of Mara Spence and Emma Bonafiglia earned a well-deserved bronze-medal finish in their Open Rhythm Dance, while the duo of Elena Koning and Brianna Kaplanis climbed to a silver-medal finish in the Intermediate Similar Pairs Freeskate.

And, dazzlingly, the breakout duo of Charlotte Lawson and Brittaney Everitt clinched the gold-medal for the Gaels in their Star 8/9 Similar Dance, earning each of them an OUA All-Star nod.

Lawson and Everitt were also honoured by Queen’s Athletics by being named co-recipients of the Gabriel’s Pizza Varsity Athletes of the Week.

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