author: john loeppky | sports editor
Up and down ride for the green-and-gold
This past week was a busy one for the athletes in green-and-gold. Sweep was the operative word for the week. The women’s basketball and volleyball teams (yes, they’re on the up and up) swept their opponents. Meanwhile, the men’s basketball and hockey squads got shut out in their competitions. Elsewhere, the wrestling team won against Northland College of Jamestown, North Dakota, and the women’s hockey team earned a road-trip split with the Mount Royal in the battle of the Cougars. Here’s a more in-depth rundown of the goings on this week, along with a hint of things to come. As always, all stats are courtesy of the Cougars website, except where noted.
Women: 2-0 for the weekend, 77-40 (Jan. 20) and 75-55 (Jan. 21) versus Brandon
Men: 0-2 for the weekend, 91-95 (Jan. 20) and 85-95 (Jan. 21)
Another Manitoba opponent and another pair of sweeps was in the offing for the Cougars basketball squads. The women, having trounced the University of Manitoba Bisons last week at the CKHS, came out firing once again against the Bobcats. The number three ranked team in the nation, led by mainstay Katie Polischuk’s 22 points, routed a Brandon squad that was outscored in all four quarters of the first game. The statement point came when the green-and-gold allowed only six points in the fourth while netting twenty-three of their own. The team cruised past the 70-point barrier yet again, the previous time they didn’t do that was in an early December game against the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the last contest they lost.
The second game was much the same story, except this time it was first-year Kyanna Giles who spearheaded the attack. For the second straight night, the Cougars really dominated the final quarter, ending the contest with a plus nine differential in the last ten minutes. Avery Pierce led the team with six of the team’s fifteen assists on the evening.
The next time they hit the floor will be against the University of Calgary Dinos at the CKHS this weekend, with the tip set for six on both occasions.
In stark contrast, the men’s team stretched their losing streak to five with two close losses in Brandon. The first had a four-point margin in a contest that came down to the final ten minutes before it could be decided. The team started off strong, with a seven-point lead after the first quarter, but successive quarters that saw the team lose the points battle by a combined thirteen meant that their outscoring Brandon in the final quarter didn’t quite do enough. As noted by the Cougars, Brandon Tull recorded his 1000th point as a Cougar in the losing effort. He had sixteen in the first loss. One bright spot the team can take away from their effort was that their scoring load was notably balanced. All five starters – Alex Igual, Brandon Tull, Brian Ofori, Samuel Hillis, and Travis Sylvestre – broke the ten-point barrier and Johneil Johnson came close with nine. Igual also came tantalizingly close to a triple-double with nine rebounds and nine assists to go with his team leading 19 points. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to secure the win.
On Jan. 21, the game wasn’t as close and they would again find themselves on the losing side. This time by ten in a game that the Cougars will hope is the last in their losing streak. The team’s next come two games against the University of Calgary Dinos.
The men’s team would win their competition against Northland College in a dual meet in Jamestown, North Dakota. Winners of their respective divisions included Daniel Amberson (57kg), Paul Tokarz (61kg), Lucas Hoffert (72kg), and Waylon Decoteau (100kg), and Jordan Tholl in the heavyweight division. All but Hoffert are first- or second-year athletes, making the squad a young one. More to come on the wrestling team’s exploits next week.
Men (0-2) and Women (2-0) versus the University of Winnipeg
The men’s volleyball team would lose for the nineteenth straight time in what has been a disappointing campaign. In the two matches contest against the Wesmen at the CKHS, the Cougars would only be able to muster one set win in the seven that were played.
In stark contrast, the women’s team would pull out a sweep, taking both matches 3-1. This is the first sweep of the season for the squad, which has posted an even 3-3 record since the second half of the season began.
Women (1-1 @ Mount Royal)
Men (0-2 at home)
It was a weekend of suspense, success, and disappointment for the Cougars on the ice. The women, looking to stop what would stretch to a four-game losing streak, snuck out a shootout win in their second game of the weekend. Meanwhile, the men’s team lost in overtime during their second game of the set.
For the women’s team, it marked a breath of fresh air having lost the four games since their early January double overtime victory against the University of Manitoba. The men’s team continued their futility, losing their twenty-third game if you include overtime contests. Both teams will try to get their respective records back on track when they face the University of Saskatchewan Huskies during a home-at-home series this weekend.