Niagara College Knights’ basketball and volleyball teams exhibit promise in the athletic season, while Brock University dominates in volleyball and wrestling, culminating a strong sporting year in the Niagara Region. Photo Credit: Niagara College Knights
It’s a much needed holiday break for most of the 12-hundred plus student athletes that call the Niagara Region home.
Over 900 student athletes attend Brock University, and over 300 at Niagara College.
The Badgers feature 18-varsity sports and play under the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) umbrella, while the Knights feature five sports included under the Ontario College Athletics Association (OCAA) umbrella.
Let’s look at both Brock and Niagara College in terms of their varsity sports as we close out 2023 and enter the New Year.
The Badgers Women’s Volleyball team continues to impress sitting at (7-1) on the season and currently ranked third in the country (U Sports)
Brock is a perennial powerhouse in Wrestling, and that continues in 2023 as both the women’s and men’s teams are ranked third in the country at the holiday break. In fact, Francesca Lo Greco was just named U Sports Female Wrestler Athlete of the Week.
The Brock Men’s Hockey team sitting at (14-4) on the campaign, are ranked 10th in the country as their starting goaltender Connor Ungar was named a U Sports All-Star (one of just two netminders across the country) that participated in this week’s training camp against Canada’s World Junior squad in Oakville.
Ungar sports the most wins in the OUA this season with 14, is second in save-percentage at .932 and third in goals against at 2.18.
“Connor has transitioned to the U SPORTS level and has quickly proven himself to be a top player,” said Badgers head coach TJ Manastersky.
“He is extremely dedicated to being the best player he can be while committing to his work in the classroom. I’m proud of his effort and it’s exciting to watch his remarkable start to his university career.”
For more information on the Brock Badgers visit gobadgers.ca
Down the 406 to Welland, where the Knights are in the midst of their basketball and volleyball seasons respectively.
First on the hard court of basketball, where the Knights Women’s team at (6-3) on the season is ranked sixth in the province, while the Niagara Men’s Basketball team is (6-4) but has won three straight games to close out 2023, and is currently 8th in the latest OCAA rankings.
“We started a little slow, but after making some changes to our starters and our rotation we’re rolling right now,” said assistant coach Lequan Hylton.
“Things are definitely looking up as we enter the second semester.”
On the volleyball court the Knights Women’s team is coming off a big 3-0 win over Fanshawe College and sits at (7-4) on the season, good for a No. 6 ranking in Ontario.
Montanna Taylor had a combined 31 assists, 13 kills, 13 digs and three blocks against Humber and Fanshawe to close out 2023, earning her Niagara College Female Athlete of the Week. Taylor also surpassed 1000 career assists during the game against Fanshawe.
On the men’s side, Niagara is also (7-4) on the season and on the latest OCAA rankings sits at 8th in the province.
For all things Niagara College Knights check out goknights.ca
Rod Mawhood is a lifelong Niagara native who has had the pleasure of working in all three mediums – Radio, Print and TV – for over 20 years. His first announcing gig was with the then St. Catharines Stompers. Since then he’s worked in radio and TV in Toronto, and currently is the announcer for the Niagara IceDogs and Niagara River Lions.
Rod also covers the Buffalo Bills for FOX Sports and the Buffalo Sabres for NBC Sports.