Varsity

Highlights of the OCAA varsity season

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By Chelsea Alphonso

As the season comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on the hurricane of wild upsets and turbulent victories that comes with playing in the OCAA.

Women’s Rugby sevens experienced an upset at the championships when Humber defeated Algonquin. The Thunder had gone undefeated with a 12-0 record during the regular season, but their streak was quashed by the Humber Hawks on Nov. 3 when they swooped in to steal the gold. Humber also cruised through the regular season with a record of 13-1.

Julie Fantia plays rugby for the Seneca Sting. (Photo courtesy of OCAA)

Despite the upset, Algonquin made huge strides considering they finished their season last year with 8-7-1 stats. 

Last season’s champions The Seneca Sting pulled a bronze this season and Julia Fantin, fly half for the team, says there are some notable differences in the team compared to last year. 

“Last year we were a really new team, we didn’t know each other in the beginning,” she says. “Throughout the season, we progressively got really good and we ended up winning gold, it was an amazing feeling because no one has beat Humber for so long. You could really feel that we became a family last year,” Fantin says.

On the soccer field Humber’s men’s soccer have reined in yet another gold medal, winning nationals the past five of seven years. 

Tomasz Balicki, forward for the Hawks, says the team was really close and that played a part in their win.

“We persevered through a lot to be honest, we had a lot of injuries,” he says. “A lot of guys were in and out of the line-up and I think that really got us closer together.”

The three factors that Balicki says played a role in their success were perseverance, friendship and sacrifice. 

Fanshawe’s women’s soccer team won bronze at Nationals.

In 2009 Fanshawe won silver. Since then the OCAA has only had four medalists and all of them were bronze. This demonstrates the tough competition at Nationals every year.

Jade Kovacevic won CCAA and OCAA player of the year on top of the OCAA championship, but only after she broke the record for goals in the season with 30 goals. Kovacevic also set a record with nine goals in one game, beating out the previous record of seven.

At the provincial level, Fanshawe earned a gold medal for women’s cross country and St. Clair men’s brought home the gold.

 There were some notable individual performances with Janelle Hanna of Fanshawe winning the individual gold two years in a row, making her only the fifth woman to achieve this accomplishment in OCAA history.

On the baseball diamond, some notable firsts took place this season.

 Humber men’s baseball won their first OCAA championship, ending St. Clair’s winning streak of five consecutive championships. And while St. Clair won the regular season, they were beat out in the championship.

The Durham Lords won the women’s softball championship making it their fourth consecutive win. That kind of streak has never been done before. 

On the green Alyssa Stoddart of Fanshawe finished with a bronze at nationals. Stoddart also led her team to provincial gold by six strokes.

In men’s golf, Conner Watt of Humber won a silver medal at National Gold and the team won silver at Nationals.

For men’s individual awards, Braydon White from Fanshawe won gold by six strokes in the OCAA finals, giving Fanshawe their first win since 1975.

Volleyball this season saw the end of an era as the St. Clair Saint’s women’s volleyball team vanquished the Humber Hawk’s 155-game winning streak.

Georgian volleyball set a record for aces. Liam Gray set a record for 15 service aces in a game.

After an action-packed season of record-breaking performances, long-time rulers being overthrown and new kings and queens being crowned, newly-stoked rivalries and new quests for redemption will surely lead to an exciting season next year.

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