U of T Blues
2002-2003 Record: 13-4, tied 2nd OUA East
2003-2004 Projected Record: 15-2, 1st OUA East
Although placing second in the regular season, the 2002-2003 Blues were OUA champions for the third year in a row. Coming into the 2003-2004 season, the women’s team is ranked eighth in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) preseason polls. A couple of highly touted new-comers are on the squad. They are left side/right side Gioia Canciani; middle/right side Tara Matheson and left side/right side Mila Miguel. Bets are these three players will preserve the winning tradition of the program in the future. The team is extremely deep with fifth-year vets setter Katie Bickerton, left side Suzana Majcen, and left side Carrie Schram all returning to the court. Head Coach Kristine Drakich, entering her 14th year on the bench, will once again lead the team to yet another OUA championship, and the national championships.
The best of the rest: top three blues contenders in the oua east
Ryerson University Rams
2002-2003 Record: 2-15, 6th OUA East
2003-2004 Projected Record: 13-4, 2nd OUA East
Things will be different for Ryerson in 2003. They return all five starters from last season, and the team has completed its rebuilding quickly. Erin Gallagher, left-side and OUA all-star last season, will lead the team.
York University Lions
2002-2003 Record: 16-1, 1st OUA East
2003-2004 Projected Record: 9-8, 4th OUA East
The Lions, after an extremely successful campaign last season, will have a tough time repeating their successes of a year ago against a much improved OUA. The team is led by left side Gilah McHugh and setter Dana Haan.
Queen’s University Gaels
2002-2003 Record: 8-9, 4th OUA East
2003-2004 Projected Record: 12-5, 3rd OUA East
2002 was a disappointing year for the Golden Gaels, as they failed to reach the .500 mark for the season. The team is led by middle Kate McNabb and left side Stephanie Ward, and with so many starters returning to the team it is poised to finish the season over .500.
U of T Blues
2002-2003 Record: 17-1, 1st OUA (OUA Champions)
2003-2004 Projected Record: 17-1, 1st OUA (OUA Champions)
Last year’s squad was one of the best this school has produced in its storied volleyball program, capturing their seventh OUA title in the past nine years and 12th in the program’s history. But despite dominating in Ontario, the team failed to medal at the national championships, placing fifth in the country. This year’s team is extremely deep and led by three talented players in left side Marc Arseneau, right side Josh Binstock, and middle Jon So. When all is said and done, this season the Blues will add their 13th OUA championship to the trophy case, and will contend for a medal at the CIS championships. Any chips on their shoulders for being left off the CIS pre-season top 10 rankings will have long since vanished.
The best of the rest: top three blues contenders
Queen’s University Gaels
2002-2003 Record: 12-6, tied for 3rd OUA
2003-2004 Projected Record: 14-4, 2nd OUA
The pressure will be on the Golden Gaels, as they look to uproot the Varsity Blues. The team is led by power hitter Mike Hartel who was chosen to play for the 2003 Universiade team along with U of T’s Arseneau. Even though Queen’s is ranked number nine in the preseason CIS top 10, the Golden Gaels still do not have enough to beat the Blues and will have to settle for an OUA silver medal.
McMaster University Marauders
2002-2003 Record: 6-12, 8th OUA
2003-2004 Projected Record: 12-6, 4th OUA
Last season was a complete disappointment for the Marauders, but look for the team to turn things around this season. The team will be led by setter Ryan Adams, another Universiade player, and will lead McMaster as the most improved team in the OUA this season.
University of Guelph Gryphons
2002-2003 Record: 13-5, 2nd OUA
2003-2004 Projected Record: 13-5, 3rd OUA
There are high expectations in Guelph this season as the Gryphons return most of last year’s roster. The team is led by returning OUA all-stars Chris Simek and Jordan Reynolds and bolstered by a number of top recruits. The pieces are in place for a good run this season, but the Gryphons will find a bronze lining to their 2003 campaign.