Sports

Trojans at the half

WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL (12-4)

It’s a two-team race for top spot in the south division for the women’s volleyball team. The Trojans and Briercrest College have split the season series so far at two games each. After finishing the weekend of Jan. 16 with a loss against Briercrest, the Trojan team now sits second. As of Jan. 12, the Trojans were ranked eighth in the nation. Last year’s female athlete of the year for SAIT, Megan Brennan, is now in the Radio Television and Broadcast News (RTBN) program thus returning to the team. This year, she leads the team with 204 kills and 24 service aces. She offers the leadership the team needs to be a top contender in the league. On the defensive side, returning players Simran Dhami and Samantha Carpenter have held the opposing teams to minimal points. At this point it’s not a matter of if they make the playoffs, the discussion becomes about nationals and if Art O’Dwyer has the team to do it this year.

MEN’S VOLLEYBALL (9-7)

Due to the success of the women’s team, the quiet men’s side of volleyball at SAIT has been trudging along. During the break, the team went to California on a trip to keep in game shape. Since returning the team has gone 2-2, but seeing how teams operate in the NCAA can’t have hurt coach Dan Gilbert’s side. Steven Guebert, a third year left side, has been leading a team with a mix of old and new talent. Brett Bolin who has become a mainstay on the team has 95 kills to his name so far. The main issue for the men this year has been consistency during games. Far too often, Gilbert finds his team going on runs of more than five points against before they can recover. This upcoming weekend will be an important one, as the face Lethbridge, but the team should end up in the playoffs.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY (7-7-2)

The theme for the girls has been climbing the standing ladder. After starting a dismal 1-6-0, the girls have been getting points on an almost nightly basis. Much of their success has been due to their goalie Laticia (Teesh) Castillo who currently boasts a .952 save percentage with six shutouts to her name. Other standouts include Tessa Hare with seven goals to lead the team in that category; meanwhile both Erin Mclean and Renee Saulnier lead the team with eight points each. Two losses against number one ranked Red Deer College 11-2-1 finished the first semester for the Trojans; however, after a split home and home against MacEwan University to start the second semester, the team looks to be back on track. Look for this team to make the post-season.

MEN’S HOCKEY (10-8-0-4)

It’s unusual territory for the men’s hockey team, who in the last few years were near the top of their division. The team’s theme seems to be a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde scenario, each period yields a different team. Slow starts seem to plague the team, who often shows signs of brilliance. The team often finds itself in penalty troubles at some point in the game, giving up costly goals. It’s probably telling that the Trojans don’t have a single player in the top 20 in points on the season. Mitch Board leads the team with just 7 goals and 16 points in 20 games. The two goalies have split most of the games this season, Bolton Pouliot has an .898 save percentage through 9 games, while Austin Smith is sitting at a .904 through 12 games played. It is optimistic the team pulled out two wins to start the second semester, and has the team to make a playoff push, come March.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL (6-6)

Twelve points is good enough for fourth place in the south division. They share the same amount of points as Medicine Hat College, but have played two more games than the Rattlers. Scoring has not been a problem for the ladies, with two of the top five leading point per game players on the Trojan roster in Kendell Kuntz and Alicia Tan. The team has found themselves up early often, but in the games theyíve lost holding on to the lead has been troublesome. In the lone game against the nationís top team, the Lethbridge Kodiaks, they played a solid game keeping the game within reach. In his first year as coach, Bir Parmar is doing a good job leading his team. After placing second last year, the team has a lot to live up to but should squeak into the playoffs, where anything can happen.

MEN’S BASKETBALL (3-9)

The menís basketball team was supposed to be a high-powered offensive machine, but have the third fewest points for, in the division. Finishing the first semester 1-9 was not what the team ñ or the coach ñ was looking for. Justin Makasiar has been the teamís workhorse player, with 18 points a game playing in every game so far. Avery Armbrister, who was picked by Marty Birky to be the dark horse player has been effective when utilized averaging, himself, 18 points per game as well. If the streak of two wins to start the second semester continues, there is hope they could sneak into the playoffs, but chances are the team will be looking to take positives heading into next season.

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