Lions gear up for playoffs as regular season winds down

Kristina VlcekThe York University Lions women’s volleyball team swept the Lakehead Thunderwolves in a pair of games this weekend to move up to second spot in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) East standings. The men’s and women’s hockey teams also maintained their playoff positioning after their weekend matchups.

The Lions’ 3-0 and 3-1 victories over the Thunderwolves improved the women’s volleyball record to 10-5. They are currently tied with the Queen’s Gaels for second place in the standings, just four points behind the leading University of Toronto Varsity Blues, and can clinch a post-season berth with a win next weekend.

Second-year middle-outside hitter Kristina Vlcek (pictured) was impressive once again for the Lions. She led the team in scoring in both matches and recorded a total of 42 points and 23 digs over both days.

The women’s hockey team defeated the Western  Mustangs 2-1 but fell to the Windsor Lancers 4-1 to hold down third place in the OUA with a 15-7-1 record. The Lions remain in the chase for the second spot, currently occupied by the Queen’s Gaels, but lost a bit of ground this weekend as Queen’s won both of its games. The Lions are now three points behind with four games left to play.

In the victory over the Mustangs, Kristie Wilson and Chloe Milano scored in the second period and goaltender Sydney McMurter made 26 saves for the victory. The following day, Autumn Mills found the back of the net for the Lions after the squad went down by a 3-0 score to the Lancers, but that was as close as they would get.

The men’s hockey team (11-11-2) picked up a crucial point on Thursday evening in a thrilling game against the Laurier Golden Hawks. After falling behind by a 4-1 score, Matt Martello, Tyler Harrison and Rob Labute scored for the Lions to tie the game. The Golden Hawks took the lead mid-way through the third but JK Gill tied it up less than two minutes later and the Lions forced the game into overtime. Laurier scored in the extra frame to win 6-5.

On Saturday, the Lions dropped a 3-1 decision to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology Ridgebacks and, coupled with a Guelph Gryphons win, are now in sixth place in the OUA West with 24 points. However, they do have a game in hand over the Gryphons with four games left on the schedule.

The Lions track & field team had a successful weekend at the McGill Team Challenge, where the men finished third and the women fifth. The Lions combined to record 15 top-five finishes at the meet, including four gold-medal performances. Dontae Richards-Kwok captured gold in the 300-metre dash and bronze as a member of the 4-by-200-metre relay team to be named York’s male athlete of the week. Umar Khan also reached the podium twice with a first-place finish in the weight throw and a second in the shot put. Elizabeth Petrov won gold in the shot put and Kristin Obrochta finished first in the weight throw to round out the other top performances for the team.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams each grabbed their third wins of the season with victories over the Royal Military College Paladins on Friday in Kingston. The women (3-15) won 62-42 and the men (3-13) 88-71. The two teams also dropped a pair of games to the Queen’s Gaels the next night. The women were defeated 64-54 and the men went down 71-62. The women’s leading scorer on both nights was rookie Nadia Qahwash, who had a total of 27 points and was named York’s female athlete of the week. Leading the way for the men was veteran Stefan Haynes with a total of 31 points.

The final team in action this weekend was the men’s volleyball team (3-12). The Lions hosted the Varsity Blues on Friday and fell by a 3-1 score.

Submitted by Alyson Fisher, sport & recreation information officer with Sport York