The Aquinian

2014 Sports Year in Review

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2014 was a big year for St. Thomas sports, filled with highs and lows. In case you missed any of it, here is what happened with each team in 2014.

 

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The men’s hockey team, with new coach Patrick Powers, were unable to come up with a winning season.

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They only had four wins in all of 2014. One of those wins was an exhibition game, and they only have one win this season. The team has a lot of work ahead of them this year if they want to climb out of the basement of the AUS, but Powers now has a better understanding of his team, and they certainly have room to grow.

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[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”#ffffff” width=”40%” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]The men’s volleyball team had the opposite problem. They only picked up one regular season loss in 2014, making them the powerhouse of the ACAA. They won the team’s fifth ACAA conference championship, which sent them to the CCAA national playoffs.

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“It seemed easier than it should have,” said Sean McCullum, who played on the championship squad. “The other teams [in the ACAA] didn’t seem to really compete.”[/aesop_content]

 

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The men’s volleyball team is currently ranked ninth in the CCAA.

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The women’s volleyball team went through a period of adjustment because of new coach, Don McKay. They were unable to make playoffs.

 

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[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”#ffffff” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]The Tommies also brought in eight rookies to try to re-energize the squad. It worked, and the team beings 2015 with four wins and three loses. One of those wins was against Mount Saint Vincent University, a team that hadn’t lost to an ACAA team in three years. Now the team is in a tight playoff race, as the ACAA has shaped up to be a close conference.

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[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”#ffffff” width=”70%” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]The men’s basketball team at STU was just a few points away from going to CCAA Nationals in 2014, but was defeated by the Crandall Chargers in the semifinals of ACAA playoffs. It marked the final season for their top three scorers: David Dolan, Corey Delong and Nathan Mazurkiewecz. It seemed like the second half of 2014 was going to be a tough one.

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[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”#ffffff” width=”40%” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]But the fall of 2014 brought new hope for the team — hope in the form of William Barber from Indiana. Barber brought a powerful and much needed scoring touch to the St. Thomas team. Now, the Tommies are second in the ACAA. The only team ahead of them is the Holland College Hurricanes, and just after the calendar changed to 2015, the Tommies beat the Hurricanes in an exhibition game. They are now ranked 14th in the CCAA.

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The women’s basketball team were successful despite struggles in 2014. Two of the Tommies left the team, and they suffered their first loss to an ACAA team in 98 games, against their rivals, the Holland College Hurricanes. In the semifinals of the ACAA playoffs, they lost another player, Katelynn Carver, to a knee injury.

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Despite that, the Tommies were resilient, exacting their revenge on the Hurricanes in the ACAA finals, and winning their fourth ACAA championship in a row. The team made it to the semi-finals, but lost the finals to the Montmorency Nomades.

 

 

 

Now, the Tommies are going for gold, and have kept their ranking of second in the CCAA.

 

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Another Tommies team made it to nationals in 2014, but they lost in playoffs. The St. Thomas women’s hockey team hosted the CIS nationals, getting them a spot on the national stage. Though they didn’t come up with any wins, it was an incredible learning opportunity for the players.

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“We got to see a lot of other conferences,” said women’s hockey captain Kelty Apperson. “It has set a higher expectation for us to achieve.”

 

 

 

This season, the Tommies are third in the AUS. They have 10 new players on the roster including an Olympian from Russia and two new goalies.

 

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The year was a sweet one for women’s rugby, but the ending was bitter. The team moved from the AUS conference back to the ACAA conference after two winless seasons.

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They proceeded to dominate, with incredibly lopsided wins. The only team that stuck with them was Mount Allison University. Mount Allison was the thorn in the Tommies’ side. The teams split the season series, both teams winning at home.

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STU ended up losing the finals against Mount Allison.

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The men’s rugby had success of their own, though it didn’t result in a trip to the finals. They beat UNB, something STU hadn’t done in eight years.

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The year marked the highest point for men’s rugby at STU since the team’s suspension in 2012. The men’s rugby team has momentum going into 2015.

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The men’s soccer team started out their season nationally ranked, but by the end of the season, that was long forgotten.

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[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”#ffffff” width=”40%” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]The women’s soccer team went through a bit of transition, as they brought in new coach Alex Valerio. The Tommies made it to playoffs, but lost in the first round. “It was nice to have something new, but it was also different and hard at first,” said Paige Legacy, striker for the Tommies.

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[aesop_content color=”#333333″ background=”#ffffff” width=”60%” columns=”1″ position=”none” imgrepeat=”no-repeat” floaterposition=”left” floaterdirection=”up”]Legacy is confident that Valerio will be able to recruit some talented soccer players, and next season will be stronger for the Tommies. The toughest challenge for the team was keeping a permanent goalkeeper. The team started the season with no true goalkeeper.

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The St. Thomas cross country and track and field teams looked to start fresh. It was the second year for coach Alex Coffin. His first year was plagued with complaints and controversy, but Coffin felt 2014’s cross country season was a positive one, and that it would translate into a good track and field team.

 

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