Women’s MRU Cougars teams find postseason success
Josh Werle, Sports Editor
The Mount Royal University (MRU) Cougars are within arm’s reach of gold medal victories, as the women’s volleyball and hockey squads have advanced in their respective playoff brackets. The women’s hockey team has advanced to the Canada West Championship, and will square off against the number one seeded University of British Columbia (UBC)Thunderbirds. The women’s volleyball squad will look to further advance in the Canada West bracket this season when they take on the University of Manitoba (UofM) Bisons in a semi-final series.
The women’s volleyball squad finished as the second seed in the Canada West division this season, holding a record of 19-5. In the overall U-SPORTS rankings, this team consistently held in the top-three teams, and finished third only slightly behind divisional rivals Trinity Western University. The Cougars were riding an 11 game win streak heading into the playoffs, and will have gone the entire month of February without taking a single loss. This momentum continued as they entered the playoffs, as they swept the matchup against the University of Calgary in the quarter-finals of the tournament. They head into a matchup against the sixth seeded UofM Bisons. It seems like an inevitability that the top two Canada West teams will match up in the finals this season, and the Cougars will have a chance at revenge against Trinity Western University.
Finishing the regular season with a 19-6-3 record, the MRU women’s hockey team upset the University of Alberta (UofA) Pandas in the semi-finals of the Canada West playoffs to make the gold medal game against UBC. MRU team captain, Tatum Amy, leads the team with 32 points this season and took home the Canada West women’s hockey Player of the Year award. She’s also been recognized for the Student-Athlete Community Service award and Sportsmanship and Ability award. Second-year student, Aliya Jomha, leads the team in goals with 11 and has 25 points overall. The team’s offense has been stellar, but the defense and goaltending has been equally as strong on route to their playoff success. Emma Bergesen has been recognized as Canada West’s top defenceman, while goaltender Kaitlyn Ross has posted a .937 save percentage with eight shutouts in 18 total victories.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Cougars shutout Trinity Western University in the first game. After a second victory from Trinity Western, the Cougars battled back to win game three and advance to the semi-finals. After both a shutout win and a shutout loss to the second seeded UofA Pandas, the Cougars won the series in a 2-1 victory. Considering the Cougars finished in the third seed of the Canada West division. After a successful season, now they will have a chance to bring some gold home for the entire team. The Cougars take on the number one seeded UBC Thunderbirds in the Canada West finals, with the series starting on March 3.