London, Ont. (via Western Mustangs) - The Toronto Varsity Blues have done it again, taking down a familiar foe in the finals to capture their fourth straight OUA water polo title.
Toronto 12 vs. Carleton 9 – Gold Medal Game
The Toronto Varsity Blues are 4-time defending OUA Champions after picking up a 12-9 win over the Carelton Ravens on Sunday afternoon.
“We knew it was going to be a very tough game and a close game” said Varsity Blues Head Coach Tuna Tali “It gets more and more difficult every year because of the amount of new faces on our team but we found a way to keep the intensity up and we’re extremely happy right now”.
The Blues jumped out to a 5-1 lead within the first five minutes of the game. Carelton responded in the 2nd quarter with three goals to cut the Toronto lead to 7-5 at half-time.
The Blues gathered themselves and came out strong in the 3rd quarter with four goals, two coming from Bruno Marunica and Toronto took an 11-7 lead into the 4th quarter.
After Toronto took a 12-7 lead, Carleton tried to make a late push with two more goals but it wasn’t enough.
“At the end of the day this is a volunteer position for us, I do this because I want to see the smiles on those players faces with medals around their neck,” said Tali “Three months ago I didn’t know some players names, now we are celebrating a championship so that is what matters most”.
The Varsity Blues took home both major award with Diego Gonzalez Delgado winning Most Valuable Player along with Andrei Velasevic who was named Most Valuable Goalie and Tony Giannatsis was named to the All-Star team.
“It feels amazing to be finishing out my 4th year with this team and to do it with a gold medal around my neck,” said Blues team captain Stefan Mitic “We lost nine players from last years team and had five new recruits this year but they jumped right in and bought in to our system and executed well.
Toronto has now won the OUA championship 34 times dating back to the early 1900’s.
McMaster 6 vs. Queen’s 8 – Bronze Medal Game
The Queen’s Gaels battled their way to a bronze medal with an 8-6 win over the McMaster Marauders Sunday afternoon.
Although it wasn’t the goal they had in mind coming into the championship, they are happy to be heading home with a medal.
“They fought against themselves a bit today, the right team won but they made it at hard as they could for themselves,” said Queen’s Head Coach Dave Hill of his teams’ performance. “Alex (Le Blanc) and Connor (Crowe) showed the leadership they needed to in the end and Trevor (Robinson) played really well in net,”
Le Blanc finished the game with two goals for the Gaels and was named to the tournament all-star team.
“We came into this tournament looking for gold, we definitely wanted to play for gold but after our last game we just needed to reset our focus” said LeBlanc “Some of the guys have said it kind of feels better going home winning a bronze as compared to going home with a silver.”
The Marauders came up just short in their bid for a podium spot but say it gives them some instant motivation for next year.
“We wanted it to be a tight swimming game, I was hoping it would be a much faster pace in the 2nd and 3rd quarter than the guys were moving,” said Marauders Head Coach Quinn Fairly “We’ve improved immensely this season from where we started, with some close games here this weekend we had a bunch of positives to take away.”
Fairly was named OUA Coach of the Year & Colin Colterjohn was named a tournament All-Star.
Major Award Winners
Most Valuable Player - Diego Gonzalez Delgado, Toronto
Most Valuable Goalie - Andrei Velasevic, Toronto
Coach of the Year - Quinn Fairley, McMaster
Diego Gonzalez Delgado, Toronto
David Lapin, Carleton
Colin Colterjohn, McMaster
Tony Giannatsis, Toronto
Alex LeBlanc, Queen’s
Rick Vermuelen, Western
Andrei Velasevic, Toronto