Sports editor Sean Tepper tells you everything you need to know about Ryerson’s Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) teams and the upcoming 2011-12 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) season
Men’s Basketball (11-11)
Despite having a predominantly rookie roster that was forced to overcome a slew of injuries, Ryerson’s men’s basketball team had one of its best seasons in recent history last season. After bowing out of the second round of the playoffs, head coach Roy Rana recruited yet another strong rookie class to Ryerson. Led by second-year point guard Jahmal Jones, who was the recipient of Ryerson’s male athlete of the year award, and fourth-year guard Ola Adegboruwa, the Rams have a legitimate shot at winning the OUA Championship this season.
Women’s Basketball (10 -12)
Ryerson’s women’s basketball team had an extremely successful season under rookie head coach Charles Kissi. Led by forward Kelsey Wright and guardAshley McDonald, who was the recipient of the 2011 Ryerson’s female athlete of the year award, the Rams managed to win eight of their last 11 games to propel them to a playoff spot. With the addition of rookie guard Chloe Mago, the Rams will once again be looking to make the playoffs as one of the OUA’s top teams.
Men’s Hockey (8-18-2)
Last season looked promising for the men’s hockey team, as they started off the season 4-1-0 and managed to make the national rankings for the first time in team history. However, after several injuries to veteran players, including team captain Marcus Booth who missed 13 games with a broken leg, the Rams proceeded to lose four of their last 23 games. Despite their dissapointing year, fans should be optimistic for the 2011-12 season, as a number of key players will be returning to the ice, including Matt Schmermund, who led the team in both goals and points last season.
While the women’s hockey team went undefeated in Toronto’s Golden Blades Women’s Hockey League (GBWHL) last season, they will face much stiffer competition as they prepare to compete at the CIS level for the first time. Although it will be tough for the rookie team, it will be up to new head coach Lisa Jordan to prepare her players for the challenges that lie ahead.
Men’s Soccer (7-2-5)
Coming off their best season in team history, the 2011-12 Rams will look to build upon last season’s historic finish, which saw them come within a few penalty shots of clinching their first-ever chance to compete in the CIS Championships. While Ryerson’s young soccer team has the potential to make another championship run, they will have to manage without two-time CIS all-star Alex Braletic, who will not be returning to the team this season.
Women’s Soccer (4-6-6)
After an up and down season saw them miss the playoffs by a single point, the women’s soccer team will be looking to prove that they can compete with the best that the OUA has to offer. Because the team will mostly consist of first-and-second-year players, the coaching staff will turn to team captain Andrea Raso to lead this young team into the postseason.
Men’s Volleyball (6 -1-4)
Although the Rams opened the season with a 3-3 record, a five game losing streak quickly derailed their hopes for a playoffs berth. Having missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, head coach Mirek Porosa will turn to second-year setter Aleksa Miladinovic to provide most of the team’s offense. Miladinovic was selected to the OUA All-Rookie Team as a rookie and recorded the second most total assists in the conference.
Women’s Volleyball (1-18)
With nine new players recruited to play for the Rams this season, it will be interesting to see how the women’s volleyball team responds to their dismal 2010-11 season. Like the women’s soccer team, head coach Dustin Reid’s roster will mostly consist of first-and-second-year players. While they are inexperienced, Ryerson’s young team should be drastically improved this year.
Coming off of an extremly successful season that saw them win four individual medals at the OUA figure skating championships, Ryerson’s figure skating team is looking to compete for a team medal this season. With skaters such as Alysha Gjos, Katherine Bilinskyand Lisa Jensen all expected to return, Ryerson has the potential to be a powerhouse on the figure skating circuit.
Ryerson’s fencing team won a bronze and silver medal at the 2011 OUA men’s fencing championship at Brock University, solidifying themselves as one of the province’s top-five fencing teams. With head coach Alice Lu (who was named the 2011 OUA coach of the year) returning to Ryerson, there’s no reason to believe that the fencing team can’t improve on an impressive 2010-11 season.