Jori Mantha, McMaster Marauders
Source: Matt Walker. Communications & New Media. Ontario University Athletics
HAMILTON, Ont. – The 2014-15 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) men’s and women’s volleyball season returns to the court October 17th, with the McMaster Marauders hosting the Western Mustangs in Hamilton, while the Guelph Gryphons take on the Ryerson Rams in Toronto. Each matchup will feature a men’s and women’s doubleheader.
The opening day matchup between Western and McMaster on the men’s side will be a rematch of the 2013-14 OUA championship which saw the Marauders win 3-1 and capture their fifth OUA title in seven seasons. Even though McMaster did win the provincial crown, they will be seeking revenge as the Mustangs upset the top-seeded Marauders at the CIS championship. Western would eventually finish second at the national championship, with McMaster capturing the bronze.
A full slate of women’s games is on tap for the opening weekend with 13 of 14 teams in action October 17-19. Highlights include: Windsor facing OUA women’s champion McMaster in Hamilton, Toronto heading to Thunder Bay, Ont., to take on Lakehead and Royal Military College (RMC) visiting Waterloo, Ont., to battle the Warriors.
Opening weekend on the men’s side will also feature the RMC Paladins visiting the Waterloo Warriors while the Windsor Lancers square off against the McMaster Marauders on October 18. The rest of the men’s league will jump into the fray the following week with all 11 teams in action October 24-25.
McMaster will travel to Ottawa on October 25th to clash with the Gee-Gees in a rematch of the OUA women’s championship. Ottawa will be looking to avenge its 3-0 loss to McMaster in last season’s final. The victory earned the Marauders their second provincial title in program history.
Halloween weekend will be special for the University of Toronto as the Varsity Blues will play their first matches at the brand new Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport. The new facility is a 2,000 seat world-class sport facility and in addition to Varsity Blues home volleyball and basketball games, it will be used for the Toronto 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games next summer. RMC will battle the Blues first at the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport on October 31st, with the Queen’s Gaels visiting a day later on November 1st. Both days will feature double-header men’s and women’s games.
The season will break at the end of first semester on November 30th with five final games including: RMC visiting York, Queen’s travelling to Nipissing and Toronto taking on the Gee-Gees in Ottawa for a women’s single game matchup. After the holiday break, action resumes January 9th with Waterloo’s men’s and women’s squads taking on Toronto while Windsor’s men’s team heads up Highway 401 to battle Western.
On the women’s side, January 10th will see a rematch of last year’s OUA bronze medal game between Guelph and Toronto. Despite both teams finishing first in their respective divisions last season, the Varsity Blues took the bronze with a 3-0 sweep over the Gryphons.
Seven games will wrap up the 2014-15 regular season on February 8th with Windsor meeting York in Toronto and Western heading to Nipissing for men’s and women’s games. Ryerson’s women’s squad will host Ottawa while the men will face Waterloo at home to close out the year.
Playoffs in both the men’s and women’s leagues are set to begin with quarter-final games on February 14th followed by the OUA final four going the following weekend on February 20-21. Semifinal action will go on February 20, followed by championship Saturday and the gold medal game on February 21.
The OUA champion in both leagues will qualify for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship which begins February 26th. The men’s championship will be hosted by the University of Saskatchewan (Feb 26-28) while the University of Toronto hosts the women’s championship (Feb 26 – Mar 1). The Varsity Blues will have a host bye into the CIS championship.
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