The consistently under performing Blues’ football team was put out of their misery in October, losing their last game of the season 45-9 against the Ottawa Gee-Gees. With a slightly better 3-5 season record this year — as opposed to last season’s 2-6 — the Blues do seem to be improving slowly. Despite an eighth place OUA finish for the team, the Blues saw strong individual performances by the likes of punter TJ Morton, who completed the farthest punt this season in the OUA at 68 yards, and rookie linebacker Matthew Renaud who was chosen for the 2015 OUA all-rookie team.
Despite a promising regular season performance, the Blues’ women’s soccer team was eliminated from quarter-final OUA action at the end of October by the visiting Queen’s Gaels. The Blues, who finished the year 9-6-1 dropped to fourth place overall in the OUA east division — one place lower than last season. Rookie Natasha Klasios had a standout season, leading the Blues in goals scored and was also named OUA east division rookie of the year. On the men’s side, the Blues enjoyed a taste of success by beating out hometown rivals Ryerson 3-0 to take the OUA bronze medal for the second year in a row. At the CIS championship, hosted by eventual tournament winners the York Lions, the Blues didn’t fare as well. The team lost both of their games, ending their tournament and season. Despite losing both games, the men finished in the fifth spot, and co-captain Lukas MacNaughton was named a CIS second team all-Canadian.
The chronically underrated and unrecognized Varsity Blues women’s golf team took home their fifth OUA banner since 2005, marking the team’s fourth banner in a row. The women have now Western University for the most consecutive OUA wins. The women won the competition with a final score of 471, making the difference between the Blues and second place finishers Waterloo a mere 26 strokes. U of T PhD student Laura Upenieks won the Judy McCrae Trophy by one stroke at 154. On the men’s side, the Blues came away with a silver medal with a score of 608, and were lead by individual bronze medal winner Ryan Tsang who shot 148.
U of T’s men’s and women’s swim teams are poised to defend their OUA banners this year, with huge wins against the Western Mustangs on Saturday. Winning 22 of the 26 races, the Blues are definitely the team to beat this season — just as they have been for the past two seasons — with consistent and impeccable coaching by Byron MacDonald who is in his thirty seventh season with the Blues. In individual feats, second-year phenom Kylie Masse not only broke the Canadian 50m backstroke record by 0.16 hundredths of a second, but also nearly nudged out Olympic gold medallist Missy Franklin in a race in Minnesota in November, missing the gold by two tenths of a second. Both the men’s and women’s teams are establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with, and if they keep up the gold medal, record-breaking performances, the squads won’t have a problem becoming third time OUA champions.
Track and Field
Coming off OUA and CIS banner winning seasons, the Varsity Blues women’s track and field team will have to work harder than ever to defend their title without the help of Pan Am 1,500m bronze medallist Sasha Gollish. Despite Gollish’s absence, the women were aided by fifth-year veteran Rachel Jewett, who won first place in the 600m last weekend at the Can Am Classic in Windsor, contributing a leg and to the 4x800m relay, which also placed first in a time of 8:58:84. At the same meet, co-captain Julia Stille represented the field competitors by bringing home a gold in the triple jump competition with a distance of 12.30m. While defending their CIS banner may be difficult, the women are set to dominate on home turf this Friday when U of T hosts the Fred Foot Pentathlon in the Athletic Centre Field House.
Currently sitting in fourth position in the OUA standings — right behind GTA rivals Ryerson — the Varsity Blues men’s volleyball team has something to prove. The team is trying to overcome their tenth place finish and dismal 4-16 record in the OUA last season. At 6-4 by mid-season, the men have already improved last years record, thanks in part to precise hitting by third year William Colucci and Stefan Ristic that latter of whom leads the Blues in serves and attacks this season. The Blues have won their past two games against the Lancers and Mustangs, and are looking strong as they go into their next game against Nipissing on the sixteenth.