Western defeats Varsity Blues to regain title

Stephanie Edmison earns OUA Player of the Year honours

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Western's men's and women's squash teams

Courtesy of Stephanie Edmison

SQUASHING THE COMPETITION. After yielding to Queen’s last year, the Western women’s squash team regained the Ontario University Athletics championship, defeating the University of Toronto 5-1 in the final.

Last year at this time, the Western women’s squash team was wearing silver medals following the Ontario University Athletics championships. This season, the squad, despite being ranked second going into the event, took home the gold medal.

“It was great,” veteran Stephanie Edmison said. “We lost last year, but we won this year. We wanted to win with force [and] let everyone know we were the best team out there.”

For Edmison and several teammates, the win was even more exciting given that it was their last attempt at gold.

“[Some of us] are graduating so we really wanted to win our last year,” Laura Savage said.

“We really wanted to win being the underdog,” teammate Heather Lamb added.

This year’s event, held at Fanshawe College on Feb. 14, marked the third time in four years the women have won the OUA championships.

The Mustangs beat the number one ranked Toronto Varsity Blues in the final game, losing just one match for a final score of 5-1. The Varsity Blues finished with silver, followed by the McGill Redmen who took bronze and the McMaster Marauders who finished fourth.

Edmison led her team to victory, going undefeated against Toronto’s Karlene Headley-Cooper in the final. Lamb and Savage also finished 3-0 in the finals.

The women have been hugely successful the past four seasons, despite lacking a consistent practice facility and a full-time coach.

“Coaching is important … but a lot of the onus is on us to train,” Lamb said. “It is tough without a real coach.”

“I hope to see that we can book courts at the rec centre,” Edmison added. “It might be sort of nice for students to see … It is very frustrating organizing practices.”

Edmison was named OUA Player of the Year this season, her second award in as many years, and was also named a first-team all-star. Edmison boasts a season record of 3-1.

“I was very honoured,” Edmison said.

Mustang Kathleen Horman was named Rookie of the Year, having won two matches at the crossovers against McGill and Queen’s, and finishing the season with a 2-2 record. Lamb was also named a first-team OUA all-star and Rachael Forgeron was named a second-team all-star.

The future of the team looks bright given the success that the women have experienced, accompanied by the outstanding record that the men’s team boasts.

“It gives more recognition to squash in general,” Edmison said. “We are going to get some strong players [for next season].”

“It brings a lot of attention [to Western],” Lamb added. “Western is a squash school.”

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