By Mike Still
It was another memorable season for many Dalhousie Tigers varsity teams. Below is a breakdown of sportswriter Mike Still’s top 10 moments/stories from the 2016-17 season.
10: Three Dal athletes win U SPORTS community service awards.
Breakdown: A number of Dal athletes made an impact in their respective sports as well as in the community. Jenna MacDonald (cross country), Jonny Doucett (men’s soccer) and Kashrell Lawrence (men’s basketball) were all honoured at season’s end with both the AUS and U SPORTS student-athlete community service awards. Women’s soccer player Scarlett Smith also received AUS community service award honours.
9. Midfielder Maya Venkataraman scores first goal of her AUS career in 3-0 win over Moncton.
Breakdown: Maya Venkataraman had a solid rookie season for a young Tigers women’s soccer squad. Her five points led all players and her three goals were tied for the team lead – the first of which came against Moncton on Sept. 25. The goal came in the 90th minute and cemented the team’s first win of the campaign.
8. Women’s basketball defeats Cape Breton 64-62 in opening week of season.
Breakdown: Despite missing the playoffs in 2016-17, the women’s basketball team made a statement in the opening week of the season, defeating the eventual AUS champion Cape Breton Capers 64-62. Three players scored in double figures, led by veteran Shalyn Field with 19 points and five rebounds. Rookie point guard Michele Tchiakoua also added 11 points and six rebounds, proving to be a player of the future for the Tigers.
7. Goaltender Corbin Boes records 47 saves in 2-1 shootout win over UPEI.
Breakdown: Arguably the biggest loss for the men’s hockey team came at the Christmas break, when two-time AUS all-star goaltender Corbin Boes suffered a broken ankle and was lost for the remainder of the season.
The team had finished the first half of the campaign with the second fewest goals allowed in the conference, and were right in the thick of the playoff race with a 6-9-3 record. Boes was also leading the conference in minutes played, as well as save percentage (0.933) One of his best performances came on Oct.22, when he made 47 saves in regulation and three more in the shootout to stymy the playoff-bound UPEI Panthers 2-1.
6. Outside hitter Jeffrey Walton hits four aces in five serves against Laval.
Walton, an outside hitter, was particularly impressive at the service line in a 3-1 win over RSRQ powerhouse Laval in mid-January.
His [Walton’s] run of four aces in five serves during the first set was one of the most impressive serving runs I’ve witnessed in my coaching career; it definitely set the tone for the rest of the match. We sent a loud message that when we are on our game, we can beat anyone,” says Ota.
5. Trent Lynds named AUS men’s rookie of the year in cross-country.
Breakdown: Rookie Trent Lynds was a standout athlete for the men’s cross-country team all season long. He finished with numerous top-10 finishes during AUS competition and also placed 15th at the AUS championship – his first time competing at that distance. He was honoured at season’s end as the AUS rookie of the year.
4. Women’s track and field team wins 28th AUS title in a row with less than 20 athletes competing.
Breakdown: Earlier in the season, the StfX women’s team was ranked higher than Dal. Knowing they had to win virtually every event, the women didn’t disappoint, taking the AUS title. Standout sprinters Shannay Beals and Ellen Parker were injured for the vast majority of the year, however rookie Maya Reynolds and UNB transfer Sarah Myatt, along with distance phenom Colleen Wilson all answered the call. Reynolds was honoured at season’s end with the AUS rookie of the year award.
3. Backstroke/butterfly specialist Phoebe Lenderyou keeps AUS undefeated streak alive.
Breakdown: Originally hailing from Newcastle, England, Phoebe Lenderyou won every conference event she competed in this season – including six gold medal finishes at the AUS championships – to successfully keep her conference undefeated streak alive. She culminated another impressive campaign with a bronze medal finish in the 100-metre backstoke at nationals, one place better than her performance from the year prior in the same event.
During her time with the Tigers, Lenderyou has now gone a perfect 48-for-48 in AUS competition. She was also rewarded for her efforts with a second straight nod as AUS female swimmer of the year.
2. Outside hitter Anna Dunn-Suen tallies 15 kills in AUS championship win over Memorial.
Breakdown: Anna Dunn-Suen provided invaluable leadership on the attack all season long for the Tigers, which culminated in a fifth-straight AUS title. She had 15 kills, 8 digs and two solo blocks in Dal’s 3-0 AUS title game win over Memorial. Dunn-Suen also had 18 kills in a 3-2 win over Moncton on Jan. 15.
1. Men’s basketball wins bronze at nationals.
Breakdown: The men’s basketball team was impressive from start to finish in 2016-17, finishing the AUS campaign with a third straight conference banner. They continued to roll at nationals on home court with victories over Alberta and McGill to take home third place – the best finish in team history. Fifth-year senior Kashrell Lawrence was named a tournament all-star while sharpshooting forward Sven Stammberger led the way points-wise for a second-straight year.
About Mike Still
Mike joined the Tigers staff for the 2016-17 while pursuing a one-year journalism degree from King's College. Currently doing an internship with Global Television in Edmonton, Mike was also a sportswriter with the Manitoba Bisons before making the journey to Halifax.
Follow Mike on Twitter @mikestill94