Redmen Hockey: A+
No team in McGill Athletics has been as successful this year as the Redmen hockey team. They won the Winter Carnival Cup against Concordia, then won the Corey Cup against the Ottawa Gee-Gees, then won the OUA championship against UQTR, crowning them league champions. Then, they followed with a Queen’s Cup win against a powerful Western team, whom they would face once again in the CIS national championship finals, which they also won. All in all, the team finished the regular season with a 24-2-2 record, good for first in the OUA, five cups, and the team’s first ever national championship in the 136 years of the team’s existence. Of course, that is without mentioning that the team finished first overall in the league in scoring for a second consecutive year, and had two of its players signed by two top AHL teams.
The team was honored at a Habs-Leafs game by being invited into a private loge with Canadiens’ owner Geoff Molson, and team captain Evan Vossen’s CIS overtime winner was replayed on the jumbotron for the 21,273 fans on hand. Not too bad a year.
Martlet Basketball: A-
The Martlet basketball program found success in the 2011-2012 season. The team opened the regular season with consecutive losses in RSEQ play, but bounced back with eight straight wins to start 2012, a streak that lasted until Feb. 9. The Martlets carried their momentum through the RSEQ playoffs, winning their first RSEQ championship since 1996 in what was certainly the highlight of their season. With the title they received an automatic bid to the CIS Championships. Unfortunately, the success came to an end in Calgary, as McGill lost both their games at nationals. Nevertheless, the team should be extremely proud of the progress they made this season. Seniors Anneth Him-Lazarenko and Natalie Larocque provided great leadership and consistent scoring. While the Martlets will lose both players to graduation, the team’s future is bright. Francois Charest, Marie-Eve Martin and Helene Bibeau will assume the leadership roles next season as incoming seniors, while the team will look for a boost from all-CIS rookie Dianna Ros, and other young standouts Tiye Traore and Valerie L’Ecuyer. Head Coach Ryan Thorne should be very happy with his second season at McGill, having brought back an RSEQ championship while building a strong foundation for the program heading into next season.
McGill Swimming: B+
Once again, Steven Bielby, an electrical engineering senior, monopolized McGill swimming headlines all season long with his dominating performances at every competition. But Bielby was not the only McGill swimmer who had a very successful CIS championship, as 10 McGill records were broken at the CIS championship meet. Bielby led the McGill squad with two bronze medals all the while leading the relay squad to two new McGill records. With his two medals, Bielby is now the most decorated swimmer in school history, with an amazing 11 career CIS medals-six gold, one silver, and four bronze. Marc-Andre Benoit also had a strong meet, winning McGill’s third bronze medal and individually smashing five school records.
The Marlets were slightly less successful on the national stage, breaking only one McGill record and missing the podium, yet they won a surprising RSEQ championship, winning the title for the first time in eight years. Freshman Valerie De Broux had a stellar competition, winning five medals-one gold, three silver, and one bronze. Leanne Roach, who also won a gold medal at the RSEQ tournament, was awarded the league’s annual leadership and citizenship award for her great performances in the pool, coupled with her extensive volunteering outside of the pool.
Martlet Hockey: A
The Martlets claimed both a seventh consecutive RSEQ gold medal this season and a 12th straight national medal when they won bronze in Edmonton. McGill had a total of five all-CIS players peppered over the first, second, and all-rookie team, in addition to RSEQ MVP Ann-Sophie Bettez, Rookie of the Year MÃ©lodie Daoust, and Coach of the Year Peter Smith.
Unfortunately, the Martlets’ storied history of dominance and achievement often leaves expectations unattainably high. A CIS bronze, although extremely impressive, somehow seems out of place for a team entering the tournament as the winner of four of the last five trophies. Despite a strong 18-1-1 regular season record, one of the losses snapped a 107 RSEQ game winning streak and another was McGill’s first loss to Concordia in school history.
Perhaps the most worrisome fact for upcoming years is the loss of talent that accompanies the end of this season, with stars Ann-Sophie Bettez, Cathy Chartrand, Charline LabontÃ©, and Jordana Peroff all reaching the end of their eligibilities. Although there is always a more than capable cast to fill the void, it still seems like an insurmountable task. Youngsters MÃ©lodie Daoust, Gillian Ferrari, and Katia ClÃ©ment-Heydra will all be relied upon heavily next year to keep McGill’s winning ways going.
Redmen Basketball: C+
The Redmen basketball team had a better start to the season than one would have expected given their actual playing, which was marred by poor offence and turnovers. The young team hit their stride after winter break, winning six out of their eight games and placing second in the conference. They played UQAM in the opening round of the RESQ and were in an excellent position to make it to the finals. However, they failed to do so, losing the series by three games. It was particularly frustrating because the team had plenty of potential-half of the roster was made up of freshman with only one senior-but their inexperience ultimately prevailed.
Despite the results, the team had talent and each player brought a different aspect of the game to the floor. Winn Clark led the team by example. He hustled both on offense and defense, hitting key shots and dominating the glass, while Tristan Renaud-Tremblay was a very strong forward and dominated opposing big men in the paint. Vincent Dufort had an impressive first season, as he was strong on both ends of the floor, and was rewarded with RSEQ all-rookie honours.
Martlet Volleyball: A+
Although the Martlet volleyball team had a slow start, they ended their season with a confidence booster, defeating the first-placed Montreal Carabins. They carried this momentum into the playoffs, beating Laval University in the semis to play the Carabins again in the finals. McGill lost, but the women still earned a berth to the CIS Championships for the first time in 15 years.
They were seeded fifth in the tournament, and clearly the underdog in the field, but opened with a win against the St. Mary’s Huskies to advance to the national semis where they were outmatched by first-seeded Alberta, and were relegated to the bronze medal game. There they met the Carabins once again, and shocked everyone by earning the bronze and the first volleyball medal in McGill history.
No one played as consistently as Kaiva Mateus, who was a threat on the floor, continually stepping up in big moments. DaphnÃ©e-Maude AndrÃ©-Morin also deserves recognition for her excellent defensive play this year, leading the RSEQ with 236 total digs, and winning the RSEQ libero-of-the-year award for the second consecutive season. During the playoffs and at the CIS championships, second-year GeneviÃ¨ve Plante was the sparkplug off the bench for the Martlets and should continue to grow and become a force for McGill.