Gazette year end reviews: winter sports

Men's squash team takes home 25th consecutive OUA title

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Mustangs women's basketball

Jonas Hrebeniuk

After battling through a controversial final-round match versus the Waterloo Warriors, the badminton team captured its third Ontario University Athletics title in five years, defeating the Warriors 8-5. On the national level, Western was knocked out of the team competition in the semi-finals and won its second consecutive bronze medal. Jenn Lam shone once again, winning silver in women’s singles and gold in women’s doubles.

Men’s basketball
After a disappointing start to the season, the men’s hoopsters stormed back in the winter, finishing 9-5 after the Christmas break and finishing second in the OUA. On the national stage, the men were unable to defeat the Brock Badgers, losing to the eventual national champs by 10.

Women’s basketball
The women’s basketball team had a disappointing finish to its season after losing in the OUA semi-final against the Windsor Lancers on Feb. 20. The squad ended the regular season with a 17-5 record, and was expected to go deep in the playoffs.

Forward Bess Lennox received OUA first-team all-star honours, and teammate Amanda Anderson was named to the second team all-stars.

Six Mustangs were named to the OUA curling All-Star team this year after strong finishes in the OUA championships, with the men finishing second and the women fourth.

On the men’s side, Mark Bresee and Micky Lizmore were given second-team all-stars, and for the women, Erin Morrissey and Jackie Masongsong were named first-team all-stars, while Jennifer Scott and Fiona Muirhead earned second-team honours.

The fencing teams racked up numerous honours this season, after all six squads made it to provincials. In particular, the men’s épée team of Ken Blonde, Vadim Chelekov, Mark Jones and David Chartash won gold on the OUA stage. Also, Andrea Csiba and Hollis Sinker finished fourth and sixth respectively in women’s individual épée, while Kathryn Skelton finished fifth overall in the women’s individual sabre category.

Mustangs men's hockey

Men’s hockey
Men’s puck found early success, winning the York Invitational Preseason Tournament. This set the tone for a strong season that saw the ’Stangs clinch third place in the OUA West division with an impressive 18-5-0-5 record. The team was a powerful force in the first round of playoffs, dominating York University in a two-game sweep. Western found tougher competition at Brock, dropping game three of the OUA quarterfinals in a heartbreaking overtime loss.

Women’s hockey
After securing an early victory, the women’s hockey team had high hopes for its season. Hitting a bumpy patch midway through, the girls were forced into a ‘must-win’ scenario to make the postseason. They battled hard, but fell just short of sixth place, postponing playoff aspirations until next season.

Men’s squash
The streak remains intact as Western’s men’s squash team took home the OUA crown for the 25th consecutive year. After sweeping McGill University 6-0 in the finals, the team traveled to Harvard University the following week to compete in the NCAA championships where it finished fifth.

Women’s squash
After winning the past two OUA titles, the women’s squash team could not complete the three-peat. The team lost 4-2 to the Queen’s Golden Gaels in the semi-final round and subsequently lost to the Toronto Varsity Blues in the third-place game, to finish fourth overall. Veteran Steph Edmison had a dominant year, earning the distinction of OUA female squash Player of the Year.

Mustangs men's volleyball

Men’s volleyball
The men’s volleyball team performed admirably throughout 2007-08, despite being narrowly defeated by the McMaster Marauders in the OUA semi-finals. Josh Chisholm earned the Dale Iwanoczko Award, which is presented to the OUA player who “combines excellence in the areas for academics, athletics and community involvement.” Western’s Eric Simon was named first-team all-star, while Chisholm garnered second team honours.

Women’s volleyball
After losing its first three games of the season, the team took off on an 11-game winning streak. With 12 wins and six losses, its strong performance clinched it a spot in the OUA West semi-final against the McMaster Marauders. Unfortunately, that was as far as the team would advance in the postseason.

Individually, it was a successful season with libero Andrea Ruste, setter Jenna Thomson and left side Elaine Screaton making the OUA All-Star team.

The Mustangs’ wrestling team boasted an array of medals this season, with an especially strong women’s team placing second at OUAs. The men’s team settled for fifth, and Western’s standout performance took eight of its wrestlers to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in Calgary where the women placed fourth, and the men placed 12th. Jill McCallum, Laura Skopelianos and Jeff Werden earned themselves spots on the OUA all-star list.

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