The men’s basketball team are coming off an exciting season where they won the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship for the third season in a row and won the bronze medal as hosts of the Final 8, which is the program’s first national championship medal. Gone are seniors Ritchie Kanza Mata, Kashrell Lawrence, Ryall Stroud and Jarred Reid. This year’s team will be young and talented. Lead by senior forward Sven Stammberger, the Tigers will look for breakout seasons from Jordan Aquino-Serjue, Alex Carson, and Sascha Kappos to push them to a forth championship, along with strong contributions from their recruits including talented guard Keevan Veinot.
The women’s basketball team struggled this year with a record of 3-17 and missed the playoffs. However, half the team was in their first year and only three players were third and fourth-years. The team is still growing. They will be lead by veteran guard Diedre Alexander, and second-year players Robertha Charles and Michele Tchiakoua. Charles was the team’s leading scorer and was named to the AUS all-rookie team.
The women’s cross country team finished first in every race in the AUS, as they captured their sixth AUS championship in seven years and placed 10th at nationals. This season they will lose senior star runners Colleen Wilson, and Sarah Myatt. The Tigers do have a strong returning team with Jenna MacDonald, Shaylynn Tell, Michaela Walker, Abby Llewellyn and Melanie Mckenna all eligible to return. None of them finished lower than 14th at the AUS championship.
Too bad the saying first is the worst and second is the best wasn’t true for the men’s cross-country team. In every AUS race they ran, Dal finished second. The Tigers will certainly be hungry to win the AUS championship and come first this season. Luckily for Dal, outside of Jake Wing and Brendan Gemmell, the rest of the team is eligible to return. This means that they should be able to contend for the championship again this year.
For the second straight season the Tigers’ women’s hockey team were swept out of the first round of the playoffs. This team will look a lot different than last season’s team because the Tigers’ had eight graduating seniors. The biggest change will come on defense where Lauren Ellerton, Annika Rose and Abigail Shearer are the only players eligible to return. This means the Tigers might have growing pains on the back end. On offense, the team will rely heavily on captain Lisa Maclean but young forwards Tara Morning and Danika Phillips could breakout. Goaltending will be down to Fabiana Petricca and Jessica Severeyns.
The men’s hockey team missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year last season. They showed promise early, getting off to their best start in 15 years, but collapsed when they lost 17 out of their last 21 games. In order to succeed this season, the Tigers are going to need to be sounder defensively because they consistently give up more than 30 shots a game. They also need to initiate more offense because they had a league worst 26.1 shots per game last year. Luckily for Dal, it is expected their superstar goaltender Corbin Boes will be back. He can steal any game for the Tigers.
The men’s soccer team had a successful season last year and were knocked out of the first round of the playoffs by the University of New Brunswick (UNB). This season, the Tigers are lead by two strikers, Freddy Bekkers and Kallen Heenan, who both finished for third and fifth in AUS goal scoring. The Tigers are guaranteed to lose two midfeilders and defenders but with the defensive success they had last year by only allowing eight goals, they should have enough depth to make up for it. Keeper TJ Leopold is eligible to return as well, which will add to the Tiger’s defensive success.
The women’s soccer team under first-year Head Coach Cindy Tye, made the playoffs after missing them the previous season. The team played better as the season went on and in the playoffs they took the Acadia Axewomen, to extra time before losing. The team is still young, as most of the players are in their third year or younger. With their young core, and strong finish last season, they should be able to build off that and have a successful year.
Both swim teams had to fight through some adversity last year. As the Dalplex pool was undergoing regular repairs since December to fix leaks, it forced the Dal swim teams to train at the Centennial pool and cut their training time in half. It wasn’t ideal circumstances, but the women’s team powered through and won the AUS championship for the 16th straight season and finished 11th nationally. The Tigers should be championship contenders again because 13/18 swimmers are returning.
The men’s swim team, like the women’s team had to train at the Centennial pool, and like the women, they won the AUS championship which is their 19th straight season as AUS champions and they also placed 14th nationally. They should be in title contention again because only three swimmers left the team. Among returning swimmers are two-time AUS MVP Gavin Dyke, and rising stars in Alec Karlsen and Morrgan Payne.
Track and Field
The men’s track and field team won the AUS championship and finished 11th nationally. The team does have some big names leaving, such as jumps specialist Jordan Bruce, and throws specialists Adam Karakolis and David Kerr. However, the team does have some big names coming back. Field athlete of the year Mike Van Der Poel, who won bronze at nationals in 300m, is returning along with Matthew Coolen, who won gold in 60m hurdles in the AUS championship. The Tigers landed a major recruit in middle distance runner Hudson Grimshaw-Surrette, who has broken many Nova Scotia provincial records.
The women’s Track and Field team also had a successful season, winning the AUS championship for the 28th straight year and finishing 18th nationally. Gone are star runners Colleen Wilson and Sarah Myatt, but there is a lot to look forward to. Eligible to returning is AUS rookie of the year Maya Reynolds, who broke an AUS record in the 60m race. Also eligible to return are fifth year runners Michaela Walker, Macayla Cullen and Heather Beaton. Cullen and Beaton both won an AUS event last season while Walker finished second in two races behind two former teammates in Walker and Myatt. If they all return, the Tigers are set up for another championship.
The women’s volleyball team won their fifth straight AUS championship last year and finished in fifth place nationally. The Tigers are losing first-team all-stars Abby Czenze and Marisa Mota, as well as Amy Appleby. The Tigers are still going to have a strong team next year with AUS first team all-star Courtney Baker, second team all-star Mieke DuMont, all-rookie team member Hannah Aldcorn, and two-time AUS Championship MVP Anna Dunn-Suen, all being eligible to return. The Tigers should be strong at the middle blocker and outside hitter positions because every player from those positions are eligible to return.
The men’s volleyball team lost in the AUS Championship to UNB and at worst they finish in the same place this season. The Tigers are in a strange position along with UNB because they are the only two teams remaining in the AUS after Memorial left in the summer. Both Dal and UNB will try to join the RSEQ, a university level sports league in Quebec, for the 2018-2019 season. For this upcoming season, it will be a two-team league. The only Tiger guaranteed to leave is AUS MVP Kristen O’Brien, the rest of the team is eligible to return which should put the Tigers in a strong position this year against UNB who is losing four graduating seniors.