By Jay Shewfelt
(WINDSOR, ON) – St Clair College and the Department of Athletics and Recreation have announced that they have been selected to host two OCAA Provincial Championships for the upcoming 2016-17 season. The Saints will host the women’s soccer and women’s volleyball championships.
These bids were approved at the OCAA Annual General Meeting by the membership in Kitchener on April 28.
The women’s soccer championship will take place at the Libro Credit Union Centre in Amhertsburg from October 27-29, this fall. This event will feature the top eight teams in the province competing for a spot at the CCAA Nationals in Quebec from November 9 to 12. As host of the championships, St Clair will receive an automatic entry into the tournament.
The women’s soccer program is coming off their best season in 16 years having won the OCAA bronze. St Clair finished the regular season with a record of 9-1 and tied for first place in the OCAA West Division.
Saints head coach Steve Vagnini was excited to hear the bid had been approved.
“This is one of the best things to happen to women’s soccer at St Clair because we will be hosting the best of the best and the winner gets to go nationals,” he said. “That’s the level of competition we want to be involved with.”
The women’s volleyball championship will take place at the SportsPlex from February 24 through 26, in 2017. This event will also showcase the top 8 teams in the OCAA battling for provincial supremacy to earn a spot at the CCAA Nationals in British Columbia from March 8 to 11. Similarly to soccer, the Saints will be guaranteed a spot in this prestigious event.
The St Clair women’s team is coming off of a solid season under first year head coach Jimmy El-Turk, finishing with a record of 10-8 and tied for 4th place in the OCAA West Division. The Saints made the playoffs but lost in the first round.
El-Turk was ecstatic when informed St Clair’s bid was approved.
“I could not be more excited for St Clair to be hosting provincials,” he said. “I was at the college for the men’s provincial championship and the atmosphere was one of the best I’ve experienced in sport. To have our athletes participate in that type of an environment on our home floor is going to be an amazing experience for them. It will be a great opportunity for us to showcase the college, as well as our volleyball program and what we have to offer.”
St Clair College has most recently hosted the CCAA Women’s Basketball Nationals this past March and the OCAA men’s volleyball Championships in February 2015. Both events received rave reviews from all participants, fans, and coaches.