Weekend wrap: Track and field Lions win five medals, finish fifth at OUA championships

The York University Lions men’s and women’s track and field teams both finished in fifth place at the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championships on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Toronto Track & Field Centre.

The two squads combined to win five medals at the meet, including two golds, two silvers and one bronze.

Jumping specialists Holly Pitters and Nicholas Fyffe both successfully defended their OUA titles from last year in the long jump and triple jump, respectively.

Sophomore multi-events specialist Kayden Johnson and second-year pole vaulter Samuel Adams each won silver medals in their respective events. More details on the York Lions website.

Men’s hockey Lions advance to OUA West final with big win over Gryphons

The York University Lions men’s hockey team scored five times in the second period en route to a 6-2 victory over the University of Guelph Gryphons on Thursday, Feb. 23 in game  two of their OUA West semifinal series at Gryphon Centre Arena.

The win gives the Lions their second straight series sweep and moves them into the OUA West finals next week.

The Gryphons dominated play for much of the first period, outshooting the Lions 12-7, but York rookie goaltender Mack Shields was tremendous between the pipes to keep every shot out of the net and the game remained scoreless after one. More details.

In game one of the best-of-three series, the Lions twice erased a one-goal deficit en route to a 3-2 victory. Trailing 2-1 after two periods of play, the Lions scored twice in the first two minutes of the third period to take their first lead of the game. After that the Lions locked down defensively and rookie goaltender Shields stood tall in net to earn the victory. More details.

Women’s volleyball Lions upset No. 10 Mustangs in final regular-season game

The York University Lions women’s volleyball team capped its 2016-17 regular season with a thrilling five-set victory over the No. 10 nationally ranked Western University Mustangs on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Tait McKenzie Centre.

In the opening set of the match both the Mustangs and the Lions remained stout. Each team raced up the scoreboard and neither could gain much separation from one another. Melissa Monkhouse began the momentum swing for her Lions when she unleashed a powerful kill that gave them their 19th point while also igniting the crowd to thunderous applause.

Sarah Williams helped bring the Lions to the clinching point with an unreturnable fastball. Celeste Witzell would turn out to be the set’s hero as she stymied the Mustangs’ scoring attempt with a towering block to clinch the 25-22 victory. More details.

It was a big weekend for the Lions as the previous night, they earned a 3-1 win over the University of Windsor Lancers to clinch a playoff spot after missing out last year.

In the opening set, the Lions were all about their business as they established a large lead fast, streaking to a 20-9 advantage with virtually no speed bumps. For the final point of the match the Lancers would serve the Lions the victory as they sent their own serve into the net to end the set with a score of 25-12. More details.

Men’s volleyball Lions clinch first place in OUA East with victory over Lancers

The York University Lions men’s volleyball team clinched the top spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Division on Friday, Feb. 24 with a four-set win over the University of Windsor Lancers at the Tait McKenzie Centre.

In the beginning of the first set, the Lancers kept the red-hot Lions in check until Alex Duncan-Thibault launched a guided missile that hugged the inside of the sideline. Following this, a big block by Robert Thompson set the Lions into a heavy 19-13 advantage. More details.

The following night, the Lions capped a tremendous regular season by earning their tenth straight victory, picking up a straight-sets win over the Western University Mustangs.

To begin the opening frame of the match, the Lions and the Mustangs played ping pong with each other. Both teams were extending rallies and scoring by any means necessary. With the back and forth battle heading into the end of the set, Toure Nwakwesi would use his massive 6-foot-5 frame to block shots and hit the ball with immense force.

With the score now sitting at 24-22, a long rally ensued and Duncan-Thibault denied the Mustangs with a huge block to give the Lions the early lead in the match. More details.

Women’s basketball Lions fall to Rams in first round of OUA playoffs

The York University Lions women’s basketball team was defeated by a score of 78-52 by the Ryerson University Rams in their opening round OUA playoff series at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

The Rams, who are the defending Critelli Cup champions, came out firing in the first quarter and led 16-6 after the opening 10 minutes. The Lions played a much stronger game through to the end, but could not close the gap that had developed in the first.

After scoring only six points in the first, the Lions put up 18 in the second to cut a 20-point deficit into just 12 at the half. Despite continued strong play, the Rams continued to pour in the points, outscoring the Lions 21-15 in the third and 21-13 in the fourth to cruise to the big win. More details.

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