The Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship season is now in full swing and it has been a successful one so far for the Western Mustangs. Six teams have brought home championship banners since the start of post-season competition and the title quest continues for a number of other teams.
Coming off of their fifth straight OUA Women’s swimming championship, the Mustangs are headed to Calgary for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) swimming championships beginning on Thursday (Feb. 21), where they will attempt to knock off reigning champs — the UBC Thunderbirds who captured both the men’s and women’s titles last year.
While the swimming team heads for national competition, the Mustangs track and field teams will stay a little closer to home, making the trek to Windsor for the OUA track & field championship. Western’s biggest challenge may come from a host Lancers squad that has captured the past 14 men’s championships and seven of the last eight women’s titles. Despite Windsor’s dominance on the OUA level the Mustangs men’s team enters the event as the defending CIS champions and will be looking to use the OUA championships as a springboard to defending their national title.
Hot on the heels of sweeping the UOIT Ridgebacks last weekend, Western’s men’s hockey team continues their climb up the playoff ladder when they face the Waterloo Warriors in OUA West semi-final action. Game one of the best-of-three series goes Thursday (Feb. 21) at 7 p.m. in the Thompson Arena.
The Mustangs women’s hockey team is also off to the OUA semi-finals. Following a thrilling triple overtime victory last Friday (Feb. 15) to eliminate the Toronto Varsity Blues, Western will be the lower seeded team this round, facing the OUA-leading Laurier Golden Hawks. The purple and white took the regular season series 2-1 and are aiming for similar success when the series kicks off Thursday night in Waterloo.
Women’s basketball action hits the floor of Alumni Hall on Wednesday (Feb. 20) when the Mustangs host Laurier in an OUA West quarterfinal play. This will be the third game in three weeks between the two squads with each side winning one on home court.
Men’s volleyball will take centre stage this week in Hamilton with the Mustangs travelling to McMaster for the OUA Final Four. Western faces the OUA’s second ranked team in the Waterloo Warriors in a semi-final contest on Friday evening. Not only will a spot in the OUA finals be on the line, but with two OUA teams earning berths into the CIS men’s volleyball championship the winner of Friday’s match will earn a chance to contend for a national championship.
Rounding out the championship action this week is the men’s squash team. After capturing their 30th consecutive OUA men’s squash championship earlier this month, the team heads south to the Collegiate Squash Association championship being held at Yale University this weekend (Feb. 22-23) to compete against the best university teams in North America.
For more information or results, visit www.westernmustangs.ca.