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Women’s volleyball rocks silver, track takes five medals while both hockey teams eliminated

Women’s volleyball takes silver in OUAs, seventh seed in CIS

After defeating the University of Guelph Gryphons 3–2 in the semi-finals on Feb. 22, the previous champion Gee-Gees went on to lose the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) gold medal game 3–0 to the McMaster University Marauders on Feb. 23.

Despite the loss, the silver medalists will move forward to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) playoffs from Feb. 28 to March 2 at the University of Regina.

The Marauders swept the Gees in the gold medal game in three contested sets of 25–20, 25–22, and 25–22.

“I’m proud of this team,” said head coach Lionel Woods.  “We get to go to nationals and learn from this loss and see if we can be tougher next weekend.”

Losing the gold medal to McMaster and taking the seventh seed in the CIS championship means the 10th-ranked Gee-Gees will have to face off against the fifth-ranked, second-best team from the highly competitive Western Canada conference.  The ladies have had a challenging rotation of teams to play against thus far in the playoffs, but will have to overcome the Manitoba Bisons if they want to uphold their final-four competitiveness.

The University of British Colombia will be looking for their seventh championship title, which, if they get it, will put them down in CIS record books for longest title streak alongside the University of Victoria’s men’s basketball team, which took titles from 1980–86.  The Gee-Gees are still looking to get their first title.

Men’s hockey loses to Queen’s Gaels

The Queen’s Gaels got a last-minute goal in their second game against U of O to knock out the Gee-Gees 2–0 in their OUA series.  The first match, in Kingston on Feb. 19, left the Gees with a sour 3–2 loss despite key opportunities.  The second match on Feb. 21 left the Gees in dismay as the Gaels took the series with a 2–1 victory.

The two losses mean the Gee-Gees will not move forward in the OUA east division finals, despite their successful 17–9 season and end-of-game efforts. Both matches were comprised of a dynamic and consistent back and forth, leaving most power-play opportunities killed off by both sides, which just goes to show how strong both teams are. The last goal of the second game was scored with only 23 seconds left on the clock.

“I think we did everything we could today — the guys emptied the tank,” said head coach Réal Paiement after the game. “But they close everything and their goalie does the job behind them. It was the type of game you knew was going to go on a mistake or a bounce. We did a lot of good things, but we didn’t win and that’s the bottom line.”

Women’s hockey team’s hopes shot down

The Réseau du Sport Étudiant du Québec (RSÉQ) finals brought the Gee-Gees women’s team to Montreal to face-off against the country’s first-ranked Université de Montreal Carabins in their Feb. 21 and 23 games.

The first game of the series ended in a 5–2 loss despite a very close three periods.  The Gees managed to bring the game to a 2–3 stall in the third, with a victory still within their grasp.  The team, however, gave up its final two goals to the Carabins in the final 54 seconds of the third period, after goaltender Cassie Seguin was pulled in an effort to overwhelm the Carabins with a six-player line.

“That was our best performance of the year, definitely,” said head coach Yanick Evola after the Friday game. “Our forecheck was outstanding and our defence had a heck of a game.  I couldn’t have asked for more effort.”

The second game re-emphasized the powerful contention between both teams.  With less than two minutes left in the third period, the score was 3–2 in favour of the Carabins.  The Gees responded with five forwards and one defender on the ice, but gave up another two goals before the end of the game, giving Montreal its second 5–2 win and the series with a 2–0 sweep.

“It’s clear that we played a good game and that the last two games were solid,” said Gee-Gees captain Camille Pauck-Therrien. “It’s still disappointing to finish off the season this way. All I can say is that this year was a fun year and I hope we’ll have more years like this one.”

Gees’ track team gets five medals

There were 44 athletes representing the University of Ottawa at the OUA two-day finals this year: 21 women and 23 men.  The men’s relay team was of particular interest this year, given their two back-to-back gold medals at the CIS finals in both the 4×200 metre and 4×400 metre events and the addition of two freshmen.

The two-day event was a barrage of narrow margins and breath-taking performances.  Second-year criminology student Sekou Kaba gave a personal best performance in the men’s 60-metre hurdle event, clocking in at 7 seconds 80 milliseconds, but was beat to the line by the University of Toronto’s Greg MacNiell by two milliseconds.  Kaba’s time was just 10 milliseconds behind the CIS record set back in 1984 by York University’s Mark McKoy.

Third-year political science student Mohamed Souleiman took silver in the men’s 1,000-metre race with a time of 2 minutes 26 seconds 46 milliseconds, a tenth of a second behind the gold medal time.

First-year psychology and communications student Wade Embury who placed third in the men’s 300-metre event, brought in the third and final medal of the first day.

The second day of OUA finals brought in another two medals for the Gee-Gees men’s squad. The first was a bronze medal finish by the 4×400 metre men’s relay squad of Embury, Isaiah Moses, Devin Biocchi, and Gabriel Tesfaye—the first two being the two freshmen of the team.

Their time of 3 minutes 17 seconds 51 milliseconds was just 27 milliseconds short of the University of Windsor’s gold medal team. All three medalling teams beat the OUA 4×400 metre men’s relay record time that had been standing since 1993.

The final medal came in with first-year accounting student Yvan Ntivumbura’s 1.98-metre men’s high-jump performance.  Although his height tied with second-place University of Guelph’s Mitchell Torres, his fault at the 1.92-metre put him in third place. The performance was two notches, or six centimetres, behind the gold medal height.

The men’s team finished the event ranked fifth overall, beating out the University of Toronto by a single point, while the women’s team ranked eighth overall out of the 11 schools present.

The CIS championship will take place from March 6–8.