Sports

Dalhousie Tigers: Winter 2015 Semester Review

Tigers capture four times more AUS championships than rest of league

written by Graeme Benjamin
April 14, 2015 5:39 pm

Wow. What a year. Eight AUS championships, five CIS medals, nine CIS All-Canadians, and one national gold medalist. There’s not much more you could ask for out of the second batch of Dal’s varsity athletes. In a year that started with met expectations and a dependency on the winter teams to achieve nothing but AUS supremacy, the Tigers did a damn fine job.

Now, it’s time to dive into the semester that was. To those who followed our coverage this year, we sincerely thank you. It’s been a pleasure providing you with analysis of what Dalhousie athletics has to offer.

Alright, enough with the sappiness. Here is your annual Semester in Review.

REPORT CARD:

Men’s basketball: A+
AUS record: 10-10 (5th)
AUS result: Won championship
Nationals: (Didn’t place)

Swimming: A
AUS record: First at each meet
AUS result: Both men’s and women’s won championship
Nationals: Gold in 800m free- style for Megan Bernier

Track and field: A
AUS record: First at each meet
AUS result: Both men’s and women’s won championship
Nationals: Silver in high jump for Rebecca Haworth, sil- ver in triple jump for Jordan Bruce, and bronze in triple jump for Chas Smith

Men’s volleyball: A
AUS record: 16-1 (1st) 

Women’s volleyball: A-

AUS record: 10-6 (2nd)
AUS result: Won champion- ship (third in a row)
Nationals: Didn’t place

Women’s basketball: B
AUS record: 14-6 (2nd)
AUS result: Eliminated in semifinals
Nationals: Didn’t place

Women’s hockey: B-
AUS record: 10-12-2 (5th)
AUS result: Eliminated in semifinals

Men’s hockey: C
AUS record: 7-20-1 (7th)
AUS result: Didn’t make playoffs

BEST OF DAL TIGERS:

Female athlete of the semester – Meagan Bernier, women’s swimming
Honorable mentions – Rebecca Haworth, women’s track and field; Courtney Thompson, women’s basketball

Pretty easy pick, if you ask me. Bernier was the lone CIS gold medalist, picking up the hardware in the 800m freestyle. The fifth-year Cole Harbour native dominated in the pool all season, capturing gold as part of the 800m freestyle relay team, silver in the 200m freestyle and 200m backstroke, and bronze in the 400m freestyle. Bernier was named AUS female swimmer of the year – a title she’s held in three of the last four years. Hats off to Bernier for closing out her university swimming career in impressive fashion.

Male athlete of the semester – Bryan Duquette, men’s volleyball
Honourable mentions – Kashrell Lawrence, men’s basketball; Jordan Bruce, men’s track and field

Seems like a bit of a cop-out to pick the two athletes who were named the Dalhousie athletes of the year. But, c’mon. They were picked for a reason, right?

Duquette has been the face of the men’s volleyball team for, well, as long as he’s been there. The six foot four, first team all-Canadian led the AUS in kills with 196 (with the next closest being more than 40 away). He also led in points scored per set, kills per set, and only trailed UNB’s Tristen Burridge in digs by one. For leading almost all categories possible and leading his team to a fourth place finish at nationals, Duquette gets our vote.

Rookies of the semester – Phoebe Lenderyou, women’s swimming; Sean Berrigan, men’s swimming

These two speedy swimmers played a significant role in the Tigers’ dominance in the pool. Berrigan, a six foot four management student from Dartmouth, was named the AUS men’s swimming rookie of the year for his two silvers in the 50m and 100m backstroke, and a bronze in the 50m breaststroke. On the women’s side, Lenderyou smashed AUS record after record, setting milestones in the 50m backstroke, 100m butterfly and 200m individual medley. She ended up winning a total of four medals in her first AUS championship. Remember, she’s still a rookie. Wow.

Best moment – Men’s basketball winning AUS championship
Honourable mentions – Women’s volleyball playoff win over Huskies; Kashrell Lawrence buzzer-beater against CBU

It was like the basketball version of The Mighty Ducks. Entering the tournament with a 10-10 regular season record, the Tigers knew they had their hands full when they were preparing to play the bigger, badder, and downright cockier Saint Mary’s Huskies in the finals. The Tigers’ cross-town rivals knew this was their game to lose. But the Tigers understood the talent their team had, and in the final game, it was on full display. Kashrell Lawrence exploded for a game-high 31 points and 17 rebounds to lead his team back from a 15 point halftime deficit to win the game 88-78 in overtime. And to add icing on the perfect-tournament cake, the boys pulled off two other come-from-behind victories, including a phenomenal buzzer beater from Lawrence to catapult his team to the semifinals. Props, fellas.

Best ass-kicking – Women’s swimming
Honourable mentions – Men’s volleyball, women’s track and field

Though there were several ass-kickings to choose from this semester, there is one particular ass-kicking that stands above the rest of the ass-kickings. And that, is the women’s swim team. No teams were even close to touching this talented squad, who ran away with every single tournament title this year. At the AUS championships, where it matters the most, the Tigers shined even brighter, raking in a total 466 team points, compared to second place Acadia’s total of 212. To say it wasn’t even fair would be an understatement. Nice job, ladies.

Team we’re optimistic for – Women’s hockey

Apparently, my optimism from last year paid off, as we saw the women’s hockey team improve slightly to make it to the semi-finals of the playoffs. A team that is constantly striving for improvement, Dal’s women’s hockey team is on the brink of breaking through. With only three players in their fourth year of eligibility, this young team can only improve from here. Look for the Tigers to once again make it to the playoffs as the underdogs next year – a role they know all too well.

Team we’re worried about – Men’s hockey

I know what you’re thinking. Here we go. The silly ol’ Gazette sports editor is going to harp on the men’s hockey team AGAIN. Hear me out, okay?

The main reason we’re most worried about their team isn’t because we think they’re untalented, rather, because of the other teams in the league. St. FX, Acadia, and UNB were all nationally ranked, and are showing no signs of slowing down. It’ll take a miracle for the Tigers to be at their level in just 365 days.

However, ironically enough, the team we chose last year as the one we’re worried about was men’s basketball. Maybe the Gazette’s pick is some kind of voodoo jinx that instantly makes a bad team better.

But I wouldn’t put money on that analogy.

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