Queen’s Journal Colour Awards: Vol. 149

QJ Sports awards the teams and players who made 2021-22 a year to remember.

Colour us impressed. Here are the Sports Sections's awards for 2021-22.
Team of the Year—Women’s Rugby
 
Not only was it the program’s maiden Monilex Trophy and the highest finish of any Gaels team at a national championship this year, but it was also the first time since 1922 that a Queen’s team has won a national title on home turf.
 
Simply put: this team was one for the history books, and nobody deserves the ‘Team of the Year’ more than them.
 
Coach of the Year—Claire Meadows, Women’s Basketball
 
In her first true year as the head coach of the Women’s Basketball team, one could say that Claire Meadows couldn’t have done better.
 
Helping the team achieve its first national medal in program history after finishing third in the U Sports Final 8—and doing so after weathering an early playoff exit and a stunted regular season—Meadows has proven that she’s a special leader, and that if there’s anything on the horizon for her and the team, it’s more winning at the national level. That kind of credit isn’t cheap.
 
Player of the Year—Sophie de Goede
 
Sophie de Goede will undoubtedly go down in history as one of the most accomplished athletes to grace the fields and courts of Queen’s. The dual-sport athlete didn’t just play rugby and basketball this season—she excelled, and she has the hardware to prove it.
 
This season, de Goede led the women’s rugby team to a National Championship on home soil. She scored one try, one convert, and two penalty converts in the gold medal game, and was named tournament MVP and the U Sports Women’s Rugby Player of the Year.
 
After making history on the rugby pitch, de Goede took to the court with the women’s basketball team, where she was named a Second Team All-Star and led the OUA in rebounding, averaging 12.1 per game. In the Final 8 tournament, de Goede and the team won U Sports bronze, the first medal in program history, and de Goede’s second National medal of the year—a storybook ending for a truly Golden Gael.
 
Rookie(s) of the Year—Hannah Duchesneau and Cole Duncanson
 
This season, volleyball rookies Hannah Duchesneau and Cole Duncanson proved that the future is bright for Queen’s volleyball.
 
Duchesneau was named to the OUA East Division All-Rookie Team and was fifth on the Gaels in points and kills. The outside stepped up during the OUA playoffs and led the Gaels in kills, blocks, and aces in both their victory over York and heartbreaker loss to Toronto.
 
On the men’s side, Cole Duncanson was named a Second Team East Division All-Star and All-Rookie, finishing the season with 73 points and 51 kills. The powerhouse six-foot-nine middle showcased his ability to compete on the national stage at the U Sports Men’s Volleyball Championship, where he was named Player of the Game for his exceptional performance in the Gaels’ Quarter-Final match.
 
Dark Horse 2021-22—Men’s Basketball
 
On paper, this team’s achievements speak for themselves. They had their best regular season in years, upset both of their biggest rivals in the OUA playoffs, played for the Wilson Cup for the first time in nearly a century, and—to top it off—qualified for their first nationals in program history, finishing fourth among eight of Canada’s elite basketball programs at the U Sports Final 8.
 
What might not be on paper, however, is the fact that nobody could’ve expected this from them, including The Journal. It’s a mistake we don’t plan on making again, but we’re giving credit where credit’s due—this team was the definitive dark horse of 2021-22.
 
Most Disappointing Season—Men’s Soccer
 
While many Gaels teams were on the positive of standout stat lines this year, Men’s Soccer weren’t—and they hold the particularly unflattering honor of being the sole Queen’s varsity sports team to fail to make the playoffs in 2021-22. For that reason alone, they stand out with a season where much was left to be desired.
 
Varsity Club of the Year—Cycling
 
The Gaels continued to prove that they are the force to be reckoned with in the university cycling sphere. The cycling team won the Canadian Collegiate Cycling Association Virtual Championship Series, defending their title from last year. The Gaels placed first in the Toronto Grand Prix, the Ottawa Grand Prix, and the Waterloo Grand Prix, and they finished the overall series with a monster total of 594 points. The Gaels’ victory was accompanied by five omnium podium finishers.

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