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Varsity Update - February 04, 2008

Badminton

Five Mohawk Mountaineers have advanced to the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Badminton Championships in two weeks.Mohawk's Chris Hong finished second to Raymond Wong of Humber in men's singles in the West Regional Championships held at Mohawk February 1-2. Both players won their pools with identical 6-0 records. Wong won the final 21-8, 21-13.

Crystal Oakes and her partner Kristina Hall of Mohawk wound up second in women's doubles behind St. Clair's Julie Schell and Amy Howe. The Mountaineer tandem of Sherri Arbour and Jas Mogford were third in mixed doubles. That event was won by Fanshawe's Sarah Fuller and Nathaniel Allard.

Mohawk's Laura Arbour wound up fourth in women's singles. Vicki Singh of Centennial was the winner.

Jose Morales and Ben Naksuwan of Mohawk finished sixth in men's doubles, with Centennial's Simon Yip and Ben Wong of Centennial taking the title.

Mohawk won the women's team event and was fourth in the men's team points total which was headed by Humber.

Overall, Mohawk finished third in the Regional Championship. Humber and Seneca tied for first.

Mohawk coach Matt Schnarr predicted all along that his team would be prominent come championship time. "It's a credit to the players, said Schnarr. "In the first couple of tournaments they weren't winning matches. They were competing, but they worked hard since September with early mornings, late nights and at tournaments to get to where they needed to be. This weekend proved how hard they worked to get to a championship." Schnarr said he expected Mohawk to compete in the team categories, but to finish first in the women's category is a real credit to the work ethic of the ladies. He noted he had a doubles player, Laura Arbour, finishing fourth in singles, which was a tremendous accomplishment. Two other singles players, Kathleen Manson and Adam Hayward, finished fourth in their respective pools. The coach was also impressed by Mohawk finishing third overall, especially against Toronto-area teams which have far more club players in their ranks than is the case for the Hamilton squad.

The OCAA Badminton Championships will be contested February 15-16 at Georgian College in Barrie with the top players in each event advancing to the Canadian College Championships February 28- March 1, in Sackville New Brunswick.

Men's Basketball

The Mohawk men's basketball team downed the Redeemer Royals 90-50 in Ontario Colleges Athletic Association action at the Fennell Gym January 29). Mohawk led 44-26 at the half. Tyrone Berry and Mike Barr led the Mountaineers with 15 points apiece. Mackenzie Milmine had 14 and Marko Gacic 13. Mohawk head coach Brian Jonker got a chance to get his bench some extended minutes on the floor. "I thought in the second half our second unit, in particular, played with alot of energy, they played great. Defensively they were very strong, said Jonker.

Mohawk endured a stormy trip to Windsor February 1. The bus arrived at least two hours late and the team was still playing after midnight.It was worth it though, as the Mountaineers won 78-76 over St. Clair and kept their hopes alive for possibly hosting a home playoff game.

"That was a first for me," joked coach Jonker, happy to get out of Windsor with two points. "We started the game on one day (10:20 pm February 1, and finished the next day, 12:01 am February 2). It didn't look good for the Mountaineers to start as the Saints stormed to a 13-2 lead after the tip-off. However, Mohawk finally got in gear and led 38-35 at the intermission. They upped their advantage to 12 points with less than nine minutes to go, then had to hold off a late bid by St. Clair. Ricky Heath was on fire for the Mountaineers with six 3-pointers en route to a 20 point effort. Big Alen Beader was in fine form as well, getting a double-double of 13 points and 14 rebounds.

Women's Basketball

The women's basketball team picked up its second victory of the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association season defeating the Redeemer Royals 50-42 at the Fennell Gym January 29.

The Mountaineers led 23-8, but the Royals closed the gap and trailed 23-16 at half time. Redeemer continued its comeback in the second half, pulling even, before the Mountaineers regrouped for the victory, improving their record to 2-7. Angela Brown led Mohawk with 14 points. Stacey Bourque scored 13 and Melissa Zwolak had nine. Natalie Mountaineers' head coach Kelly Dunham said her team started out well, but let the Royals back in the game.

"We were rushing, said Dunham. "We (lost) our composure. The second half was a complete battle, as it always is." The Mountaineers had trouble on the offensive boards with only 14 rebounds, while Redeemer hauled down 31 on defense. But the coach said when it counted the Mountaineers ran the floor, got back in a groove and made some defensive stops. Mohawk also made some late foul shots, although for the game, they were only 66.7 percent from the free throw line.

The Mountaineers then dropped a 67-49 decision to the St. Clair Saints, February 1, arriving a couple of hours late in Windsor because of a snowstorm. It was a disappointing result for the 2-8 Mountaineers, who definitely came to play and actually led by two points at half time. But in the second 20 minutes it was a different story.

"We beat ourselves, said coach Dunham. "We made mistakes on offence, too many passing errors and we continue to struggle on the boards." Still, Dunham was proud of her players, some of whom were under the weather, perhaps because of the trying trip to Windsor. Angela Brown led Mohawk with 12 points. Melissa Zwolak had 11 points and Lisamarie Iavarone scored nine.

Men's Volleyball

Mohawk spotted Humber a one set lead then stormed back to win in four games, 23-25, 25-22, 25-23, 25-15 in men's volleyball in Etobicoke January 31. "Humber played well, said Mohawk coach James Bradley. "They made some errors down the stretch that gave us both sets three and four. We had a good game plan and really slowed down their top scorers. Our libero Sean Lowe played a fantastic match. He had multiple no block and one block digs that gave so scoring opportunities on defense. He was my player of the game." Bradley noted Humber did a good job keeping the Mountaineers' service aces below their season average, allowing only five, four of them from Jasmin Cull. Mohawk also made numerous serving errors. Cull also had a stuff block and seven kills. Adam Schiedel had nine kills. With the victory, the Mountaineers improved to 10-0.

Women's Volleyball

The Mohawk women suffered their second straight loss as they bowed 3-1 to the Humber Hawks in Etobicoke January 31. Humber got off to a fast start en route to a 25-10, 26-24, 23-25, 25-20 verdict. That's two straight defeats for the Mountaineers, now 9-2.

Coach Brian McEnhill said it was not near the match he expected from his team. "The resulting loss was due to a number of factors which included the plaguing missed serves and poor service reception," said McEnhill. Leah Waxman led Mohawk, but with only nine kills, a block and one ace. Rachel VanHartingsveldt had seven kills and an ace.