Monday, January 28, 2013

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

Two very different performances left us with one result this past weekend. We lost to Ryerson 66-47 and then lost to U of T, 60-55.

A problem that has plagued us the last few games was exacerbated in the Ryerson game – taking care of the defensive boards, taking care of the ball, and our shooting percentage (particularly from the foul line). The combination of the lack of rebounding and not taking care of the ball has resulted in our opposition taking many more shots than us. It is somewhat like spotting the team a few baskets each game – not a recommended strategy for success.

Ryerson played hard and played well. They outscored us each quarter, 19-13, 17-9, 15-11, 15-14. In addition to our 23 turnovers, we left 14 points on the foul line, shooting just 7 of 21. Sydney Kernahan and Liz Boag both returned to the line-up and each finished with 11 points. Syd added 8 boards, while Robyn Pearson had 9 points and 9 boards.

Q’s SID Report:
(Note: the rebounding stats were incorrectly reported in the article)

On Saturday our effort, focus and competitive spirit was much different. We were boxing out, hustling to loose balls and doing a much better job taking care of the basketball. Unfortunately, despite having good looks at the hoop, our shooting percentage took a beating (only 18% in the first half and only 29% in the second half). Scoring by quarter: Toronto 17-13, 10-6, 21-13, Queen’s 23-12. After being down by as many at 17 in the fourth, we finally started to find our shooting touch, but never got closer than 4 points, fouling at the end of the game. When all was said and done, we beat U of T in every statistical category except shooting percentage (and of course, the final score). Jenny Wright finished with 17 points, 7 boards, 5 assists and 6 steals. Liz Boag added 13 points. Hanna Koposhynska returned to the lineup grabbing 6 boards.

Q’s SID Report:

Up Next at Home:
Friday, February 1 vs. Carleton 6pm
Saturday, February 2 vs. Ottawa 6pm (Graduating Athlete Night)

Up Next on the Road:
Friday, February 8 @ Laurentian 6pm
Saturday, February 9 @ York 6pm

Have a great week.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Women's Basketball - Update

Hi Folks,

A few important announcements regarding our basketball program moving forward.

New Recruit for 2013-14
I am pleased to announce the signing of Abby Dixon, the starting point guard for the Bronze Medal winning, BC Provincial Team. While attending the Nationals in Fredericton, NB last August, I had the pleasure to watch Abby play and was completely impressed with her savvy, vision and skill. She will be graduating from Handsworth SS, where they have an excellent basketball program that is always challenging for the Provincial title.

Please see the Press Release:

The PEC re-opens
January 14, 2013 marked the re-opening of the Physical Education Centre. In addition to all the great facilities in the ARC, the PEC provides access to the 3 gyms (Bartlett, Ross & Bews). We are scheduled for one practise a week in Bartlett Gym, bringing back many memories from the 25+ years I coached in the gym. I always liked Bartlett as a competition gym – great floor – and it was exciting to be back in the old stompin’ grounds.

Fall Homecoming Returns
The rumours are true: Queen’s Fall Homecoming is back on! In fact, there will be two official Homecoming Weekends and basketball is slated to be a big part of the first Homecoming Weekend, October 4,5,6, 2013. Both the men’s & women’s team will be hosting our annual Tindall Tournament that weekend. In addition, we will be hosting our annual Alumni vs. Alumni Game (quite possibly in the newly re-opened Bartlett Gym) and, on Saturday evening, the third annual Reception and Silent Auction. At the reception, we will be honouring the players, trainers and coaching staff from the 1985-86 to 1989-1990 teams. Please mark your calendars.



Monday, January 21, 2013

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

Despite suffering our two largest margin losses of the year on the weekend, I was quite pleased with many aspects of our play. On Friday we lost to Ottawa, 66-43, and followed with a 64-38 loss to Carleton on Saturday. It’s the first time this season we have suffered a loss by a double digit margin.

So why am I somewhat pleased? Given that we were playing without 4 starters in the lineup (Liz, Sydney, Gemma & Hanna all out with injuries), our younger players were able to step up and battle against the two top teams in our division.

Our start against Ottawa was one of shell-shock as we fell behind 15-0 before settling down. We finished the quarter trailing 18-5. We tightened up our defence in the second quarter, outscoring Ottawa 12-10 and continued that play through the third, 16-10 to trail 38-33 heading into the fourth. We continued to play well in the first 4 minutes of the fourth quarter, closing the margin to 3 before the wheels fell off. Ottawa got on a roll to which we had no answer, rattling off basket after basket to build back to a 23 point win, 66-43. Rookie post, Nicole Morse had a season-high 12 points (on 6-10 shooting) and 6 boards. Rookie guard, Emily Hazlett added 6 points and 6 boards, while rookie post, Robyn Pearson dropped 7 points to go along with her 5 boards.

Q’s SID Report:

Carleton, another very physical team, known for their tough defense, lived up to their reputation. Stifling defence made every little mistake we made into a big mistake. However, we still managed to put 13 points up in the quarter (a feat we would not repeat), but Carleton scored 21. The second quarter came to a grinding halt with only 13 points being scored: 8 by Carleton to our 5. We continued to battle hard in the third quarter as Carleton stretched their 11 point half time lead to 14, 14-11 was the third quarter score. We ran out of steam in the fourth quarter as Carleton scored 21 to our 9 to finish with the 64-38 win. Second year guard, Rachael Urosevic dropped 11 points, on 3-7 shooting from beyond the 3-pt. line, while rookie post, Nicole Morse grabbed a game-high 9 boards to go along with her 7 points.

Q’s SID Report:

Our injured players (four starters and rookie post, Claire Endicott) are all listed as day-to-day.

Up Next on the Road:
Friday, January 25 @ Ryerson 6pm (Kerr Hall – old gym)
Saturday, January 26 @ Toronto 6pm

Up Next at Home:
Friday, February 1 vs. Carleton @ 6pm
Saturday, February 2 vs. Ottawa @ 6pm (Graduating Athlete’s Night)

Have a great week.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Second Half Hunt Begins

Back in the fall when we were getting underway, I thought about the number of people who were gone from the starting line-up. I thought about the limited number of CIS matches all our remaining guys had played and I also thought about our good fortune in recruiting and securing exceptional players both last year and this year. I believed it was definitely realistic to make the playoffs. Finishing in the top half of the league seemed like a good goal for us. After all goals are suppose to be realistic and challenging.

The talk around the league was that Queen's was rebuilding. Our assistant coach, Greg Stevenson coined the phrase re-loading; a phrase which I latched on to. Clearly we had the talent to do well, we had the drive to do well, we seemed to develop great team chemistry very quickly - a testament to our captain, Jackson Dakin and co-captain Jacob Glantz's leadership.

After only a few weeks of league, it became evident we could not only make the playoffs, but fight for a spot in the final four. Going into the Christmas break we were 6-3, a record which put us in the top four.

Should the goal then be to hold onto that position - top 4 - host a playoff berth - make it to the final four? Realistically, given the elements I inventoried early on, I might be inclined to say yes, but this group continues to progress and battle every day and now we strive to move up into the 2-3 side of the draw and make it to the OUA final. Of course, I know from experience, that anything can happen in one single match and in addition to that, the top 2 in the OUA go to the CIS Championships at Laval this year.

This past weekend we kicked off the second half. Our roster was altered somewhat as second year standout Scott Brunet was sidelined, while recovering from appendix surgery and 6'11" rookie Will Hoey was still out with his knee injury. We also added Daniel You, a Dalhousie grad and Queen's Med student to the roster, at least for the short term, while our regulars get 'fixed'.

Guelph was first to challenge us. They put up a great fight in the first and we showed some grit in pulling out a 26-24 win. The Gryphons stuggled to find their rhythm against some strong Queen's blocking in the second and we came away with a solid 25-10 set. The third set was better on both sides of the net, but our defense was the difference as we transitioned 11 balls to Guelph's 5 on the way to a 25-19.

The big test was Sunday, as we were facing the 10th ranked Waterloo Warriors. The Warriors took us out in 4 sets on their court back in the fall. We knew we had made progess in our play since then and had high aspirations going into the match, especially in our own gym.

The first set was exactly the kind of battle we expected. Both teams banging balls and making spectacular digs. The crowd cheered and applauded after several ridiculously long rallies. The Waterloo team has huge middles and they run a very fast offense, so our blockers were often in a time crisis. Despite that, and a credit to our defense, we were right there. Waterloo took the first
30-28. We stepped up our servering in the second and Waterloo wasn't as able to run middle; which made things a bit more comfortable for us. We took the second 25-12 and 25-22. After that, I think we were too comfortable and relaxed since we were up 2-1 and we failed to bring the level of focus and intensity we needed to finish them off. Waterloo also took more risk. They served very well, and we didn't respond and match that. We had several errors out of the gate, and even though we did step it up after a while, the Waterloo lead and momentum were in place. We dropped the last 2 sets 15-25 and 11-25. In the fifth, after being down 5-8 at the court change we battled back to 10-10, but then couldn't match their offense, going down 1-5 in the last 6 rallies.

The take aways from that experience are many. We are closer than we were in the fall. We need to block rightside/dig rightside better than we did. We need to serve well from start to finish and not let up when we are comfortable. In fact, we need to not be comfortable, so that we play with urgency, regardless of whether we are up, down or tied. We need to take more risk, run the middle more and try to keep the opponent's block more off balance.

Those things can be done. We have all the ingredients to achieve our goals. We are on a path and a plan for success and we need to be better tomorrow than we were today. That's our job and our mission.

We are off to London and Windsor next weekend and our next home stint is February 2nd and 3rd at 2pm. We take on York on Saturday and McMaster on Sunday.  

Go Gaels Go!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hi Folks,

A very tough but successful game versus Laurentian on Saturday, left us with a 74-69 victory, evening our league record at 6-6.

Forced to play without our two captains (Sydney Kernahan & Liz Boag – both with ankle injuries) for the second straight game, our young line-up was up to the challenge. We started rookies at the point guard and small forward positions, 2nd year players at the wing spots and a 4th year veteran at the post.

The game started at a furious pace – Laurentian seemingly unable to miss – racking up 21 first quarter points while shooting over 50% from the floor and 60% from beyond the 3pt. line. We, however, also shot the ball fairly well, and picked up a couple of extra possessions through hustle plays and dropped 25 in the frame. The second quarter saw shooting stats lower to a more “normal” percentage, leaving us with a 37-34 half time lead. An excellent third quarter saw us build our lead into double digits, outscoring Laurentian, 22-13. Laurentian battled back in the fourth closing the gap to 1 with less than 2 minutes remaining. A timely steal by rookie guard, Emily Hazlett led to a layup. Foul shots by Jenny Wright sealed the 5 point victory.

Four players finished in double digits in scoring, led by Jenny Wright with 24 points and 5 assists. Hanna Koposhynska had another double-double, with 12 points and 11 boards (and 2 diving loose ball steals), while Gemma Bullard also dropped 12 points while dishing out 4 assists. Robyn Pearson was 1 board shy of a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Emily Hazlett recorded 9 assists and grabbed 6 points. Rachael Urosevic also drained 9 points on 50% shooting from beyond the arc, going 3 for 6.

All-in-all, a successful (Thursday/Saturday) weekend, including our “Shoot for the Cure” fundraiser. A number of cheques were left with me after Saturday’s game (thank you very much), and we continue to accept donations on-line at:

Up Next on the Road:
Friday, January 18 @ Ottawa U. 6pm
Saturday, January 19 @ Carleton 6pm

Friday, January 25 @ Ryerson 6pm
Saturday, January 26 @ Toronto 6pm

Have a great week.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

A quick update relating to our game last night against York – which ended in a 70-63 win. Also of note was that this was our “Shoot for the Cure” game to raise funds and awareness in the battle against Breast Cancer.

I am pleased to report that my challenge to donate $1 for every point scored in the game had a few takers. If you would still like to contribute (any amount), you can do so at the following web address:

I would also like to thank all those in attendance and those that made cash donations at the door totaling $175.

On to the game: despite a recent rash of injuries (Sydney Kernahan, Liz Boag & Claire Endicott – all out with ankle injuries) we started the ball game with much better execution (in particular, on offense) than last weekend, resulting in a 23-11 first quarter lead. York, however, would battle through the next two quarters (20-15 & 17-12) to close the margin to two points heading into the fourth quarter. A great run to open the fourth quarter saw us restore a 17 point lead that was held until the final two minutes. York’s late run did not threaten the outcome, but closed the gap to 7 points, 70-63 was the final.

Jenny Wright, sharing point guard duties, poured in 18 points to go with her 5 boards and 3 assists. Hanna Koposhynska was one rebound away from a double-double, with 15 points and 9 boards. Gemma Bullard also neared the double-double mark with 10 points and 8 boards.

With our two captains sidelined, other players were given more minutes and made the most of it. Rookie, Emily Hazlett, started at the point guard position and posted a solid stat line of 8 points, 6 assists and 4 boards. Rookie post, Nicole Morse had a solid game, logging 21 minutes, recording 6 points and 5 boards, while rookie post, Robyn Pearson also had 6 points and 4 boards.

Q’s SID Report:

Up Next at Home:
Saturday, January 12 vs. Laurentian @ 6pm

Back on Monday with that game report.



Monday, January 7, 2013

Women's Basketball - Game Report

Hi Folks,

A very disappointing weekend left us with losses to the University of Toronto, 62-57 and to Ryerson, 70-64. Not the way we planned to start the second two-thirds of our season.

Three themes were consistent between the two games: weak defensive rebounding, poor shooting, and our inability to control/secure loose balls, resulting in extra possessions for the opposition. Much work needs to be done to clean up these three areas.

Interesting comparisons, scoring by quarter in the two games:

1st Quarter - Q’s 14 – UofT 18 Q’s 18 – Ryerson 14
2nd Quarter Q’s 13 – UofT 19 Q’s 9 – Ryerson 16
3rd Quarter Q’s 7 – UofT 8 Q’s 21 – Ryerson 19
4th Quarter Q’s 23 – UofT 17 Q’s 16 – Ryerson 21

The only thing consistent in the scoring was that we fouled at the end of both games resulting in a few extra points to the opposition in the 4th quarters.

Of note: Captain, Sydney Kernahan missed both games with an ankle injury. She is out for an indeterminate amount of time. Captain, Liz Boag went down in the fourth quarter of the Ryerson game, also with an ankle injury. Too early to tell how long she will be out of the lineup.

Q’s SID Report - Toronto:
Q’s SID Report – Ryerson:

Up Next at Home:
Thursday, January 10 vs. York @ 5pm (Shoot for the Cure – Breast Cancer Awareness Game)*
Saturday, January 12 vs. Laurentian @ 6pm

Note: the THURSDAY early start time of 5pm

*Again this year I will donate $1 for every point scored in our game against York (both teams) and I challenge anyone to match (or exceed) me in a quest to raise funds.

Up Next on the Road:
Friday, January 18 vs. Ottawa @ 6pm
Saturday, January 19 vs. Carleton @ 6pm

Have a great week!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Women's Basketball Update

Hi Folks,

Happy New Year! I hope you and your family had a great holiday season.

Have to be really quick with this newsletter, as we just returned from Puerto Rico last night and I am scrambling to catch up on a number of things that came in over the holidays.

Team had a GREAT trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico (temperature highs 28, lows 24 everyday) taking in some cultural events with a visit to Old San Juan, Zip-lining in the forest, and of course, time on the beach. We trained each morning and played two games (all open air facilities, so it was a tad warm). We lost both games to the NCAA Div. II Puerto Rican teams (by 2 points and by 6 points), as we worked through the 3 week layoff prior to our departure. We did improve our ball handling and our defense over the two games, but did struggle with our shooting in both games.

Up Next at Home:
Saturday, January 5 vs. Toronto 1pm (Community Day – kids get in free)
Sunday, January 6 vs. Ryerson 1pm

Thursday, January 10 vs. York 5pm (Shoot for the Cure – Breast Cancer Awareness)
Saturday, January 12 vs. Laurentian 6pm

NOTE the different start times for some of the games!

That’s it for now – will have the weekend game reports out on Monday.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Post Holiday Update

After celebrating the holiday season across the country, the Queen’s women’s volleyball team reunited on the 28th of December to clean the rust off and get back into the game. From December 28th to December 30th, we competed in a National Invitational Tournament hosted by the University of Toronto.

It was easy to see that the team had been working hard in the gym over the break. After two weeks of not practicing and lots of Christmas turkey, the girls were looking fit on the court. However it took the Gaels a while to feel comfortable with the game again. On Friday we went up against U of T, a team we beat in the first half of the regular season. Unfortunately, due to some unforced errors and hesitation on our part, U of T came out victorious and left us to think about strategy for the coming days.

We played against the University of New Brunswick on Saturday. Although UNB’s fast offence took the game, we started to see the Gaels make some better decisions on the court.

Going into the final day of the tournament the girls vowed to give the last game against The University of Sherbrooke everything we had. After discussing some game plan in the team room, we felt ready to go and knew it was now up to us to get the job done. The Gaels took the first set 25-23 and definitely looked much better than the previous two days. Sherbrooke proved they were not going to hand the game to us and won the second set 25-19. The third set went to Queen’s after a battle resulting in a score of 27-25. Some poor decisions on our part and strong offence from the opposition lead to a 25-14 victory for Sherbrooke. The fifth and final set showed the Gael’s true colours. We fought hard for every point. Although the final result was in Sherboorke’s favour, a win of 17-15, our team definitely built momentum to bring back into the gym for the second half of the season.

With the holiday coming to a close and the team heading back to Kingston, we know that we have a lot of work ahead if we want to finish strong. The Gael’s are looking forward to competing against the top eight teams over the course of January and February on the road to the playoffs.

Happy New Year!