Men’s and women’s basketball begin playoffs at home

The York men’s and women’s basketball teams open the post-season this Wednesday at the Tait McKenzie Centre. The No. 6-ranked women’s squad takes to the court in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Semifinals against the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. York enters the playoffs riding a 15-game winning streak. The Lions swept the season-series with Toronto, winning 83-65 on the road before taking the home meeting 80-76. Tip-off is scheduled for 6pm. Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for all students. Season passes will not be accepted.

The men’s basketball team enters the playoffs riding a three-game winning streak. Looking to return to the national championship for the second-consecutive year, the first test for the York Lions comes against the Queen’s Golden Gaels. The teams split the season series, each winning at home. Game time is 8pm. York enters the post-season as the highest scoring team in the OUA. Last week, the Lions took a home-and-home series with Laurentian, winning 78-70 and 80-67.

The Lions track and field squad enters this week’s OUA Championships on a high after claiming 11 medals at the Hal Brown Last Chance meet at the University of Toronto over the weekend. The team captured four gold medals at the event. At the OUA Championships in Windsor, both the men’s and women’s team have a good shot at making the podium. The men’s team is ranked seventh in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport league (CIS), while the women are ranked ninth.

The women’s hockey team extended its winning streak to a season-high four games last week, after skating to a pair of victories over Waterloo and Windsor. Justine Jackson, this week’s female Athlete of the Week, helped the Lions down the visiting Warriors, 3-1, before dropping the Lancers, 7-3. Against the Lancers, Jackson scored three times, including the game-winner. She also added an assist. The streaking Lions play their final game of the season this weekend at Canlan Ice Sports Arena against the Lancers at 6pm on Saturday.

Right: Justine Jackson

For the third-straight season, the York Lions men’s hockey team were eliminated from the playoffs by the Lakehead Thunderwolves. Like the previous two post-season series, this year’s playoff battle featured a pair of tightly contested games, with each going to overtime. In the first contest in Thunder Bay, Kevin Druce made an incredible 82 saves albeit in a 3-2 quadruple overtime loss. In the second game of the series back at York, Druce made 40 saves in a 4-3 double overtime loss. Lakehead has won the last six post-season meetings, with each game being decided by a single goal.

The men’s volleyball season came to an end in the OUA Semifinal against the No. 7-ranked Queen’s Golden Gaels last week. After defeating the Western Mustangs in straight-sets in the OUA Quarterfinal, the squad faced the top team in the OUA, taking them to five sets. York held a 2-1 lead in the match, but could not close out the victory, falling 25-21, 23-25, 20-25, 25-14 and 15-10. Despite the disappointment of falling in the semifinal, graduating OUA all-star Ryan Anderson capped off a tremendous York career. Anderson, this week’s male Athlete of the Week, led the Lions against Western with 14 kills, before recording a 20-kill, 27-point performance against the Gaels.

Left: Ryan Anderson

A similar fate befell women’s volleyball, as their hopes for playoff success ended in a 3-2 heartbreaker against the Ottawa Gee-Gees in their OUA Quarterfinal. After opening-up a commanding two-set lead, the team couldn’t cap off the contest, eventually falling 22-25, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15 and 15-12. Candice Paulson led the Lions with 15 points, who fell for the second-straight season in the OUA Quarterfinal against Ottawa.

Over the weekend, the Lions tennis team welcomed the University of Calgary Dinos for an exhibition contest. The York men’s team swept the Dinos on Sunday, 7-0, while the women’s team played to a 3-2 victory over Calgary yesterday. Teams from Calgary, Brock, Carleton and York will compete over the next three days at the Rexall Centre.

This report was submitted to YFile by Stephen Reid, Sport York’s information assistant.