Story by Courtney Buchanan
Photos are provided.
Both the Carleton Ravens men’s and women’s water polo teams brought home medals after competing in their final tournaments of the season this past weekend at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont.
The men’s team competed in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship, winning their semi-final game against the McMaster Marauders on Nov. 26 with a final score of 5-3.
The men headed into the finals on Nov. 27 with hopes of defending their 2015 OUA championship title, but lost to the University of Toronto (U of T) Varsity Blues with a final score of 7-0.
Ravens men’s and women’s head coach Zoltan Csepregi said the men’s team “didn’t have what it took that day,” to win against U of T.
U of T displayed “great defence,” Csepregi said, and added the Ravens “didn’t have their best game.”
Fourth-year player Austin Stanton said the loss against U of T was a “sad way to end the season,” and added the team was unable to mesh and come together as a team that day.
Over the course of his four years on the team, Stanton said this season was the team’s strongest group of men yet, and that he sees “a lot of promise in the team for next year.”
Despite the loss in the final, the men’s team brought home a silver medal, and were recognized by the OUA with many Ravens players taking home major awards.
Rodrigo Rojas was named most valuable player of the tournament, while his teammate, Yorek Hurrelmann, was named most valuable goaltender.
Both Rojas and Hurrelmann were named to the All-Star team, along with fellow Raven, Dusan Boskovic.
“Our program is about being in the finals and we accomplished that goal this season,” Csepregi said. “I’m very proud of the boys, they worked very hard all year. They put in the work and the dedication all season.”
Csepregi was also named coach of the year by the OUA.
The women’s water polo team also saw some action in the water this weekend. The team captured a bronze medal after defeating the Queen’s Gaels with a final score of 6-3, at the inaugural National Collegiate Water Polo championship.
The women faced their cross-town rivals, the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees in their first round robin game on Saturday. The game concluded with a tied score of 9-9.
Branka Trajkovik, who scored all nine goals for Carleton, delivered a very strong performance along with teammate Carley Paquette.
“I think we fell short, the women were aiming to play in the gold medal game,” Csepregi said.
This season was the first season the women’s water polo team competed as a competitive club rather than a varsity sport.
The team lost their OUA standing in February 2016, after the OUA announced that women’s water polo would be removed from its list of sport offerings since there were not enough teams competing in the league.
In regards to how the team is now competing as a competitive club, Csepregi said the “program is alive and well,” and that “there hasn’t been much change.”
Csepregi added he hopes to further the sport in the next couple of years and maintain the level of competitiveness within the women’s league.
Both teams will return to training in January 2017 to begin preparations for next season.