C/O Yoohyun Park
It’s been quite the season so far, but which McMaster sports team impressed the most?
What a year it has been in the Marauders return to sport! After a long period of inactivity, in September the Marauders got back on track with their varsity schedules when most of the teams finally resumed their competitive runs. This season, McMaster students were lucky to see many teams perform well on the big stages, such as the Ontario University Athletics championships and even out of province competition to test their abilities.
As the end of the school year approaches, it seemed appropriate to look back and determine which teams impressed our community the most. The following rankings are based on how far teams made it through the OUAs or any other championship and the competition that they had to face before achieving their spot. Without further ado, let’s look through the Sil’s five most impressive varsity performances of the season, counting down from five.
5. Men’s and women’s wrestling
It’s safe to say that this season has been very successful for both the men’s and the women’s wrestling teams. Last November the teams competed at a tournament hosted in Hamilton, where they collected a total of six medals — three silvers and three golds.
Their success did not stop there. Just over a month ago, both of the teams competed at the Brock open, where they took on some of the best teams in Ontario. The event proved to be a very successful one for our wrestlers. The men’s team came out as champions and the women’s team placed third. Additionally, Francesco Fortino, a player on the men’s wrestling team won the Marauder of the Week accolade.
The grind doesn’t stop there for the wrestling teams. Their next challenge will be on April 2, when they will take part in the OUA championships in St. Catherines.
4. Women’s basketball
This season the women’s basketball team really made a name for itself in the OUAs. Despite having won the national title just two years prior, the team was widely viewed as being in a transition year due to so many early year players. Despite knowing that the competition was going to be rough and that it was going to take a lot of work for such a young team to make it to the OUA playoffs, they made it happen.
Although there were ups and downs along the way, the team showed a lot of character in all of their games, managing to finish with a record of 10-7. When they started the OUA playoffs, they swept the Waterloo Warriors 63-45, which guaranteed them a quarterfinal spot. Unfortunately, their luck ran out in the quarters, where the Brock Badgers just narrowly came on top with 49-45.
Overall, it was a season full of character for the Marauders, which is something which they wish to build on for next season after their exciting first year back.
3. Men’s soccer
The men’s soccer team started playing their competitions in September and finished off near the middle of the first semester. Although it has been a while since we got to see the players in maroon, we can’t forget their astonishing run throughout. During their season, they played eleven games, of which six were wins and only two were losses.
Much of the effort it took to make it that far came from their star striker, Dusan Kovacevic. The OUA athlete of the week accounted for just over 30% of the team’s goals. Furthermore, Kovacevic scored four times in a game against the Algoma Thunderbirds, which ended 7-0 for the Marauders.
Although the team did make it to the quarterfinals of the OUA championships, they unfortunately fell 3-1 to the Carleton Ravens, which ended their eventful season.
2. Men’s basketball
The men’s basketball team has been very impressive this season. They consistently achieved good results and were even on a five-win streak in the OUA season.
Throughout the season, they won 12 out of the possible 18 games, which took them to the OUA championship knock-out stages. It wasn’t going to be easy, but the Marauders started strongly with their 12-point win against the Lakehead Timberwolves, thus guaranteeing them a spot in the semis. Unfortunately, that is where their journey ended as they were knocked out by the Badgers, 75-88. Regardless, the fantastic performance of the men’s basketball team this season deserves to be recognized near the top of this list.
1. Men’s volleyball team
Where do we start? The men’s volleyball team has been inspiring to watch, to say the least. They have fought their way through the OUA championships with ease, winning the title and making sure that they were the team to be feared, even far away from home.
The men’s volleyball team played 18 games between the regular season, the OUA playoffs and the national playoffs. Of these games, they won 17. In their first 12 games of the season in the group stages of the OUA, they did not lose a single game. Furthermore, the Marauders went on to glide through the OUA knockout stages against teams like the Windsor Lancers, the Brock Badgers and the Toronto Varsity Blues. The latter was the opponent the Marauders played against in the finals, where they clinched their first OUA title in three seasons.
Things didn’t end there for the team, as they went on to play in the U Sports championships in Winnipeg. Although the team did not start well, losing to the University of Calgary, they bounced back and achieved fifth in all of Canada, winning against Queens Gaels and the Manitoba Bisons in the consolation play-offs.