The Ontario University Athletics 2010-11 season comes to a close this weekend when the squash champions are named. McMaster, Toronto, UOIT, Waterloo, Western and the hosting Queen’s Gaels will playoff on the courts of the Athletics and Recreation Centre at Queen’s University from March 19-20 to decide this year’s winner.
The Western Mustangs men enter as the dominating favourite. For the past 27 years the purple and white have raised the OUA banner. They will play this year without 2009-10 co-most valuable player Strachan Jarvis, instead the Mustangs will look to top seeded Kimesh Chetty (Hamilton).
Toronto was the last team other than the Mustangs to win on the men’s side, and the Varsity Blues hope they can strip Western of its title, to take the gold for the first time since 1983. Adrian Pond (Toronto), a second team OUA all-star last season, brings his four years of experience to the court for the Blues.
McMaster’s men look to improve on last season’s bronze medal finish, but will have to do it without 2009-10 co-most valuable player, Hassan Muhammad. Instead the Marauders will look to top seeded rookie Patrick Morkus (Barrie).
There are hopes of home-court advantage for Queen’s, as the Gaels hope to medal after losing out to the Marauders last season. Top seed Alex Ford (New Liskeard) beat out McMaster’s Muhammad in their game in the third place match. Ford looks to continue his success to propel his Gaels to the podium.
The Waterloo Warriors placed fifth in last year’s standings and did not advance to OUA championship competition. Third-year Electrical Engineering major, Pranav Sharma (Chandigarh, INDIA) looks to lead the Warriors to their first-ever championship banner, and an upset of the Mustangs.
On the women’s side, Queen’s is the defending champion. Over the last three years, the Gaels have traded the title with the Mustangs, a happening they look to end on their own court. If Queen’s is victorious this year, it will be the first time the Gaels women will boast repeat titles since 1998. Entering the championship, Erin Roberts (Calgary), last year’s top rookie, holds top seed for the Gaels.
If it’s not gold, it’s silver for the Mustangs women. Western lost out to the Gaels last season, 4-2 in the championship match. Samantha Hennings (Georgetown) takes top seed for the Mustangs, while 2009-10 female most valuable player Giselle Delgado (Red Lake) returns as the third seed.
Toronto’s Danjah Shamim (Oshawa) is the top seed heading into this weekend’s championship. The Varsity Blues hope to improve on last season’s bronze, and jump higher on the podium.
The Marauders fells short in last year’s championship finishing fourth behind Toronto. McMaster will be led by top seed and seven-time OUA all-star Kristina Taylor (Vaudreuil-Dorion, Que.) on the courts this weekend.
Waterloo’s Micaala Seth (Fergus) is top seed on a Warriors women’s team without any championship experience. The third-year Chemical Engineering major leads her team of three, hoping beginners luck will guide her and rookies Natasha Seth (Fergus) and Keeley Levitt (St. Catharines) to a medal.
Shannon Galea (Oshawa) is the lone entrant for the UOIT Ridgebacks. Already a standout rower at UOIT, Galea is the first person to compete in an OUA squash championship in Ridgebacks history. This will not be her first time taking to the court as an OUA player, though. Galea completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University where she played squash, and ran track for the Marauders.