Volleyball squads close out their home schedule this weekend

The York Lions women’s and men’s volleyball teams will play their final home regular season games this weekend when they take on teams from the University of Ottawa and Wilfrid Laurier University. Both games take place at the Tait McKenzie Centre. The women will square off against the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees on Saturday afternoon at 2pm while the men will take to the court to face the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks on Sunday, Feb. 1 at 2pm.

Right: York Lions women’s volleyball rookie Thinesa Sriskandarajah (right) shows off her winning form during a recent game. Photo by Ivan Marcano.

The women’s game promises to be exciting as the Lions and Gee-Gees are currently ranked first and second, respectively, in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East Division. York holds a significant six-point advantage and there is a possibility they could clinch the division title tonight during game play in Waterloo, Ont. when they take on the University of Waterloo Warriors. The Lions are undefeated on the year with a perfect 15-0 record and are inching closer to an unblemished season with every match they play.

There is a fierce rivalry between York and Ottawa. The Ottawa Gee-Gees are responsible for knocking York out of the playoffs in each of the past three seasons. However, the Lions defeated the Gee-Gees easily earlier this season in Ottawa and will be looking for a similar result this time around.

York boasts three of the top five OUA scorers as rookies Thinesa Sriskandarajah and Kristina Vlcek and veteran Candice Paulsen are second, third and fifth, respectively, in league scoring. The Lions also have a top defender in Antonia Stathakos and a top setter in Nadia Reider. The Gee-Gees don’t have the same star power as the Lions, but they bring a balanced attack that has led them to a stellar 12-4 record on the season.

The Lions have already clinched a home playoff game for their OUA quarter-final match but Saturday afternoon’s game is the last regular season game for graduating players Angela Frawley, Paulsen and Stathakos. All have been instrumental to the Lions’ success in their time with the program and will be missed next season.

The Lions men’s volleyball team plays its final game at Tait McKenzie Centre on Sunday afternoon. Despite being eliminated from playoff contention already, York does not have any graduating players and is in prime position to move up in the standings next year with a solid core of young players. The Lions’ young players have been led this season by Reid Hall, who is currently second in OUA scoring with 3.91 points per game. York’s opponent this weekend, the Laurier Golden Hawks, are currently 8-8 and are fighting hard for the final OUA playoff spot with several other teams. The Lions will be looking to play spoiler with a win on Sunday. Earlier this season, Laurier defeated York 3-0 in Waterloo.

The rest of the Lions are on the road this weekend. The women’s and men’s basketball squads will be in Ottawa tonight to face the Carleton Ravens with games at 6 and 8pm. They will face the Ottawa Gee-Gees tomorrow at 6 and 8pm. The men’s hockey team will be in Guelph to take on the Gryphons on Saturday evening at 7:30pm. Finally, the women’s hockey team has games against the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks on Friday at 7:30pm and against Guelph on Saturday afternoon at 4pm, while the track and field team will be in Montreal for the McGill Team Challenge.