As the month of March comes to an end, so do the 2021–2022 seasons for a number of Varsity Blues teams. In case you’ve missed some of the exciting playoff matches that have taken place lately, let’s recap some of the recent Varsity Blues’ games.
This year, I’ve had the opportunity to work behind the scenes at the Varsity Blues men’s and women’s hockey games. As a result, I’ve been at a number of their matches this season, including some of their recent playoff games.
On March 17, the Varsity Blues men’s hockey team played their first playoff match of the 2021–2022 season against the Waterloo Warriors. Although the Varsity Blues scored first that evening, the Warriors responded by scoring two goals within as many minutes. The Blues ended up falling 4–1 in this quarterfinal game.
The night before, on March 16, the Varsity Blues women’s hockey team played their semifinal match against the Nippising Lakers at Varsity Arena. The first period saw these two teams score four goals in total, and the athletes headed into the dressing room with the game tied 2–2. After the intermission, the Lakers were able to find the back of the net in the second period and ended up winning the playoff match 3–2.
While the Blues were unable to win that night, some women’s hockey team members did win other awards for their work this season. The team’s coach, Vicky Sunohara, was named the U SPORTS FOX 40 Coach of the Year, as she guided the Blues to a first place finish in the league.
In addition, Varsity Blues goalkeeper Erica Fryer and defender Gabrielle De Serres were named U SPORTS All-Canadians this year. Fryer had the fourth highest save percentage in the country, at .954, and secured four shoutouts for the Blues. De Serres collected the most assists — a whopping 10 — in her league and, with 13 points, also accumulated the second most points on her team.
On March 19, the Varsity Blues women’s volleyball team played against the Brock Badgers in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) final. The Badgers and Blues finished second and third in the regular season respectively, and both teams were undefeated heading into the playoffs.
Although the Badgers started the finals strong, winning the first two sets, the Blues were able to win the third set 25–16. In the fourth set, though, the Blues fell 25–15, finishing second in the OUA overall.
The Varsity Blues men’s volleyball team had a successful regular season, collecting 22 points and only losing one match out of 12. In their OUA finals, the team faced off against the McMaster Marauders, who finished the regular season in first place. Although the Blues won the first set, the Marauders went on to win the next three in a row and ultimately claimed the 2022 championship.
The women’s volleyball team travelled to Calgary for the U SPORTS championship, which took place between March 25–27. The team has won this competition once before, during their 2015–2016 season, and took fifth place this year after defeating the Calgary Dinos three sets to one.
The men’s volleyball team also competed in the U SPORTS championship during the weekend of March 25. Their competition was hosted in Winnipeg, and the Blues faced the Sherbrooke Vert & Or, who were ranked fifth overall, in their first game.
The 2021–2022 Varsity Blues season is not done yet — teams for sports like figure skating, track and field, fencing, and wrestling are still wrapping up competitions over the next few days.
To all of the athletes with upcoming matches, good luck! And to all of the teams whose seasons have already ended, we’re looking forward to watching you compete again next year!