Photo by Al Fournier

Women bring home OUA silver, U SPORTS berth

By Andrea Elliott
OSHAWA, Ont. - In just the second year of OUA competition for the Ryerson Rams curling team, the women's team brought home a provincial silver medal and a berth in the U SPORTS national championship after an impressive weekend at the OUA Championship hosted by UOIT at the Oshawa Golf & Curling Club.

The team comprised of Maggie Macintosh, Nicole Titkai, Corrina Serda, Tegan Walton and Audrey Wallbank finished last year's competition with a 3-4 record and missed the playoff round. The growth from one season to the next was evident, and makes the silver medal performance that much more impressive.

The women did all they had to in the round robin portion this year, posting a 4-3 record to finish fourth in the pool and qualify for the quarter-final. The Rams defeated Lakehead, Trent, Western, and UOIT to advance.

The cross-over format saw the Rams go up against the unbeaten Brock Badgers, winners of the other pool, in the quarter-final. The underdog mentality suited the Rams and they emerged with a narrow 6-5 win to advance to the semifinal. There, they met Carleton, a team they had lost 9-3 against in the round robin. The Rams got their revenge, though, with another narrow 5-4 victory to clinch a spot in the OUA final and their automatic ticket to the U SPORTS championship.

In the final, the Laurentian Voyageurs opened with a deuce in the first end before the Rams blanked the second and took their two in the third to tie it at 2-2. Before the fourth end break, the Voyageurs skip made her final shot to give the Voyageurs a 5-2 lead.
 
Both teams traded single points over the next three ends before Laurentian ran the Rams out of rocks in the eighth end for a 6-4 final.

On the men's side, the team of Stuart Leslie, Alex Champ, Henry Lin, Jonathan U and Jacob Thielen got out to a tough start losing their first three games but bounced back with four straight wins over UOIT, Laurentian, Brock and Toronto to finish with a 4-3 record. Unfortunately the Rams found themselves in a three-way tie for the final two playoff spots in their pool and came out on the wrong end of the tiebreak. Losses to Carleton and Waterloo left the Rams on the outside looking in.

The Rams earned their first OUA all-star honours as vice Nicole Titkai and vice Alex Champ were both named second-team all-stars.

The U SPORTS national championship takes place March 19-22 in Thunder Bay, hosted by the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

Women's Results:
Gold - Laurentian
Silver - Ryerson
Bronze - Toronto

Men's Results:
Gold - Laurier
Silver - Queen's
Bronze - Brock

Women's All-Stars
First Team:
Skip - Terri Weeks (Brock)
Vice - Karen Sagle (Carleton)
Second - Sara Guy (Laurentian)
Lead - Joanna Francolini (Brock)

Second Team:
Skip - Jestyn Murphy (Guelph)
Vice - Nicole Titkai (Ryerson)
Second - Marcia Richardson (Brock)
Lead - Jacinda Schieck (Guelph)

Men's All-Stars
First Team:
Skip - Wesley Forget (Queen's)
Vice - Jordie Lyon-Hatcher (Laurier)
Second - Decebal Michaud (Queen's)
Lead - Alexander Cormier (Queen's)

Second Team:
Skip - Eric Bradley (Brock) & Matthew Hall (Laurier)
Vice - Alex Champ (Ryerson)
Second - Travis Ackroyd (Toronto)
Lead - Steven Dawson (Western)

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