Na­tional cham­pi­ons

Vin­kle, Scheer­hoorn bring home the gold in hockey, vol­ley­ball

The Intelligencer (Belleville) - - SPORTS - INTELLIGENCER STAFF

Belleville’s Cas­sidy Vin­kle is bring­ing home a na­tional cham­pi­onship ring.

Just two years into her var­sity women’s hockey schoalr­ship at Clark­son Univer­sity in Pots­dam, NY, the Belleville Bearcats girls mi­nor hockey sys­tem grad­u­ate shared in an NCAA ti­tle with the Lady Golden Knights after a 3-0 up­set of the top-ranked Wis­con­sin Badgers in the Frozen Four fi­nal held re­cently in St. Charles, Mis­souri.

Play­ing be­fore a throng of more than 3,000 at Fam­ily Arena, Clark­son cel­e­brated its sec­ond na­tional cham­pi­onship in four years.

The vic­to­ri­ous Golden Knights handed Wis­con­sin its first loss in 23 games and gives Clark­son a school-record fi­nal over­all slate of 34-4-5 in 43 games for the 201617 cam­paign — in­clud­ing a 19-1-2 first-place in-con­fer­ence mark in the ECAC.

Vin­kle, a sopho­more for­ward, fin­ished top-10 (8) in scor­ing among Clark­son play­ers this sea­son with 22 points in 41 games, in­clud­ing a dozen goals. Her of­fen­sive to­tals in­cluded four game-win­ning goals, tied for sec­ond on the team, and a plus-18 rat­ing.

A grad­u­ate of St. Theresa, Vin­kle quadru­pled her three-goal to­tal from her fresh­man cam­paign last sea­son. She tacked on seven helpers for 10 points in 40 games.

This sea­son, Clark­son went 30-1-4 after mid-Oc­to­ber and earned its third straight ECAC con­fer­ence reg­u­lar-sea­son crown. Golden Knights de­feated the Cor­nell Big Red, fea­tur­ing Ivy League Player of the Year and Belleville na­tive Hanna Bun­ton in the lineup, to claim the ECAC play­off ti­tle and ad­vance­ment to the na­tional tour­na­ment in St. Charles.

At the women’s Frozen Four, Clark­son opened with a 4-3 de­feat of two-time NCAA cham­pion Min­nesota in the semi-fi­nals.

• CIS vol­ley­ball

Quinte Chris­tian High School grad Blake Scheer­hoorn was voted to the tour­na­ment All-Star Team after play­ing a key role in a sec­ond straight CIS men’s vol­ley­ball ti­tle for the Trin­ity West­ern (Lan­g­ley, B.C.) Spar­tans at the 2017 na­tional cham­pi­onships held re­cently in Ed­mon­ton.

Scheer­hoorn was top scorer in the gold medal match with 22 points as Trin­ity West­ern de­feated the host Golden Bears 3-1 (25-20, 25-20, 27-29, 25-23).

Scheer­hoorn was named Player of the Match.

The Spar­tans de­fended their No. 1 seed­ing at the na­tional tour­na­ment, de­feat­ing No. 8 Water­loo 3-0 in the CIS quar­ter­fi­nals, then elim­i­nat­ing No. 5 McMaster 3-1 in the semi-fi­nal round.

Scheer­hoorn was 10th in the na­tion this sea­son with a .318 hit­ting per­cent­age for the Spar­tans.

• CIS rugby

Belleville’s Sara Svo­boda kicked a rare drop-goal penalty for the Hamil­ton-based McMaster Ma­raud­ers dur­ing round-robin com­pe­ti­tion as the lone On­tario team in the Fi­nal Four of the 2017 CIS women’s Rugby Sevens cham­pi­onship fin­ished fourth at the na­tional tour­na­ment held re­cently in Vic­to­ria, B.C.

McMaster, which fin­ished 3-2 over­all, re­cov­ered from an open­ing loss to Al­berta to win three straight games — in­clud­ing two over the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge Pronghorns — to face the Pan­das in a bronze medal re­match.

While her McMaster team­mates re­turn to On­tario, Svo­boda stays on Van­cou­ver Is­land to at­tend the Rugby Canada se­nior women’s na­tional team try­out camp this week at Shawni­gan Lake. She will be joined by fel­low Belleville na­tive and for­mer Ma­raud­ers team­mate, Cindy Nelles.

Sur­vivors will travel to San Diego to rep­re­sent Canada in a two-match Can Am Se­ries against the USA.

• CIS hockey

Play­ing in their first na­tional cham­pi­onship tour­na­ment in 36 years, the Queen’s Golden Gaels — with Belleville na­tive Kevin Bailie in goal — lost 5-1 to even­tual gold medal­ist UNB in the quar­ter­fi­nals of the CIS men’s hockey fi­nals held re­cently in Fred­er­ic­ton.

Bailie faced 36 shots in the con­test, mak­ing 31 saves.

Queen’s hadn’t ap­peared in a CIS men’s hockey ti­tle tour­ney since 1981 and Gaels head coach Brett Gib­son had high praise for Bailie and his team­mates.

“We’re a hockey pro­gram now,” said Gib­son, in an in­ter­view on the CIS web­site. “We’ve al­ways been a great school aca­dem­i­cally. Now, we’re the best of both worlds.”

Bailie was out­stand­ing in the OUA play­offs, lead­ing the province with a .960 save per­cent­age and ty­ing for sec­ond with a 1.39 GAA. His 338-save to­tal was No. 1.

In the reg­u­lar cam­paign, Bailie fin­ished top-10 (7) in the OUA this sea­son with a .925 save per­cent­age in 14 ap­pear­ances for Queen’s; his 2.31 GAA was also sev­enth.

CIS PHOTO

QCHS grad­u­ate Blake Scheer­hoorn was Player of the Game in the CIS men's vol­ley­ball cham­pi­onship match, held re­cently in Ed­mon­ton.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Belleville's Cas­sidy Vin­kle of the Clark­son Lady Golden Knights hoists the NCAA cham­pi­onship tro­phy at the re­cent women's hockey Frozen Four in St. Charles, Mis­souri.

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