That time of the year
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There is no doubt that the McMaster Men’s Basketball team was quite a sight to witness this year. They won huge games against Windsor, Ottawa and Brock and were placed in the country’s Top 10 all season long. The team has big dreams and before they look to compete on the national stage for the CIS Championship banner, they need to focus on the match-up they have on Saturday, March 5. They will find out their opponent after Windsor and Laurentian play each other in the preliminary round taking place on March 2. McMaster defeated both Laurentian and Windsor in the regular season at home. This is the last season for three talented veterans — Aaron Redpath, Leon Alexander and Troy Joseph. Look for the usual veteran leadership to help set this team up for greatness. The team is competing to take it all this year. Game time for the OUA quarter-finals is set for 2 p.m. at the Burridge Gym.
Ending the regular season with a 71-69 win in Guelph this past weekend, the McMaster Women’s Basketball team is preparing to host the OUA quarterfinal playoff game on Saturday, March 5. After a year of personal records and personal battles, the team is looking to see their hard work amount to a chance to claim the OUA banner. With a talented roster of veterans and help from the bench, the McMaster Women’s Basketball team knows that the pieces need to come together for them to win. With a record of 15 wins and four losses for the season, the Marauders will look to defend home court as they face the winner of the first-round playoff game between Queen’s and Laurentian. The Marauders faced both Queen’s and Laurentian during the regular season and walked away from both with victories. The first game of the playoff season will either make or break their dream to compete for the OUA banner. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. in the Burridge Gym.
The Marauders have a unique postseason ahead of them. They are hosting both the OUA Final Four and the CIS National Championship. Both the conference and national championships will be played on home floor. The stars appear to be slowly aligning for this McMaster team that has been chasing a national championship for years. With the depth built through the season, the younger unit’s ability should not be underestimated. Look for upperclassmen like Jayson McCarthy, Danny Demyanenko, Andrew Kocur, Stephen Maar, Brandon Koppers and Pawel Jedrzejewski to play some of the best volleyball of their careers. Expect second-year standout Andrew Richards to do the same. These guys have been getting healthy for the biggest moment of their Mac careers and they won’t go down easy.
This team is graduating several great players in Alicia Jack, Khira Adams, Taylor Brisebois, Mira Krunic and Lauren Mastroluisi, almost a third of the team. These players have been the core of the team and have also helped bring home an OUA banner in 2014. The team understands that to get closer to winning an OUA banner and making a trip to nationals, they need to beat Toronto in their OUA Final this weekend. The road is not easy, but the team is coming into Final Four weekend with momentum after a huge win over Windsor last Friday. First-years Michelle Chelladurai and Rachel Woock are playing solid and second-year Jill Eisenhauer has been getting more reps at middle. If their best players play lights out against Toronto this weekend, McMaster could be one step closer to their banner dreams.
Track & field
This past weekend, the Track and Field team brought home three bronze medals from the OUA Track and Field Championships hosted by the Windsor Lancers. McMaster’s Jeff Tweedle claimed a bronze medal from the 1000m event and beat the CIS standard with a time of 2:24.13. The men also collected another bronze medal in the 4x800m relays with Tweedle, Connor Darling, Nick Kondrat and Matt Napier as they beat the CIS standard with a time of 7:40.43. The women’s team — Chelsea Mackinnon, Emily Nowak, Kaitlyn Pansegrau and Maddie Benjamin — rounded off the weekend by winning a bronze of their own. The team will enjoy a week away from the track before heading to Toronto to participate in the CIS Championships hosted by York from March 10-12.
It was a medal weekend for the McMaster wrestling team. The men finished second at the 2016 CIS Wrestling Championships and brought home silver for a second consecutive season. The Marauders ended with 52 points, while host Brock won the men’s title with 80 points. Six Marauder wrestlers advanced to medal matches and Omar Ahmed and Joban Phulka won bronze medals. However, the highlight of the weekend was Ahmed Shamiya who finished with a CIS gold for the second year in a row. On the women’s team, Monica Wood had the top performance, finishing fourth in the 48kg class. The Marauders placed 12th overall in the women’s standings.
Photo Credit: Jon White/ Photo Editor