Burlington, Ont. – Valerie Lamenta and Zane Grossinger have been named IG Wealth Management Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Athletes of the Week, powered by Planters, for the period ending March 17, 2019.
Female Athlete of the Week – Valerie Lamenta (Montréal, Que.) – 5th Year – Guelph Gryphons
If a collegiate hockey player could write the script for the end of their career, it would read exactly like Lamenta’s last four days. The fifth-year Montréal native has achieved many honours as a Gryphon, including being named the U SPORTS Player of the Year back in 2016, as well as OUA Goaltender of the year honours earlier this month, but her legacy between the pipes has now grown even greater.
Lamenta led Guelph during their quest for the McCaw with a 5-0 record – including three shutouts – en route to the team’s third OUA championship in the last four seasons. But as unlikely as it would seem, the conference’s top netminder actually raised her game for the No. 3-seed Gryphons at the U SPORTS Championship in Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Guelph knocked off the reigning national champion Manitoba Bisons, 3-2, in the first quarterfinal Thursday, with Lamenta making several key stops to preserve the win. After that, she didn’t give any opponent a sniff of the net. Lamenta was spectacular in registering a 31-save shutout in the Gryphons’ 5-0 win over the No. 2 seed Montreal Carabins. The broadcast of that game revealed the frustrations of the Montreal players, who were seen shaking their heads as Guelph’s rock in between the pipes continually robbed them over 60 minutes. And in the final against the McGill Martlets, Lamenta denied her opponents once again, stopping all 20 shots she faced for yet another shutout and a 1-0 win that marked the first national championship ever for the Gryphon women’s program.
She finished the postseason with a shocking 8-0 record, having conceded just six goals, with five shutouts, while also making the U SPORTS tournament all-star team.
Male Athlete of the Week – Zane Grossinger (Richmond Hill, Ont.) – 2nd Year – Queen’s Gaels
The Queen’s Gaels turned their Forsyth Cup win into a sixth seed at the U SPORTS Championship last weekend and put up a strong performance against the rest of the nation’s best, backed by another solid stretch from their All-Canadian setter, Zane Grossinger.
Grossinger helped the Gaels perform admirably against the third-seeded Laval in the team’s opener, buoying a Queen’s attack that pushed the Rouge et Or to five sets. While the result did not favour the OUA champions, this was just the first of three strong efforts from the Queen’s setter, who finished with 48 assists in the match to go along with five digs and a service ace.
With a spot in the consolation final on the line next, the Gaels battled the Marauders in a rematch of the conference final and left no doubt as to the winning side this time around. Backed by another 35 assists from Grossinger, as well as four aces from the service line, the Gaels swept McMaster in three sets, with the Tricolour’s sophomore setter earning player of the game honours. Grossinger and the Gaels would fare largely the same in their final match of the weekend, securing a fifth-place finish with another three-set victory. In the win over Mount Royal, Grossinger finished with 37 assists to round out his impeccable distribution-filled weekend.
The Richmond Hill native would finish the three-game weekend with an average of 10.9 assists per set, including a sparkling 12 per set in the team’s final two wins.