Burlington, Ont. – Schools are looking to serve up a successful 2022-23 Ontario University Athletics (OUA) season when the women’s and men’s volleyball squads return to the courts on November 4th, 2022.
When the upcoming season begins, it will do so with a single-division format. Teams will each play a 20-game regular season schedule, featuring three non-combatants on the women’s side and two for the men, leaving two matches apiece with the remaining 10 squads across the 12 weeks of play.
Five games on both the women’s and men’s sides will take the court on opening night, which includes battles between the Guelph Gryphons and Nipissing Lakers, the Western Mustangs and Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU), the Windsor Lancers and Waterloo Warriors, as well as the York Lions and RMC Paladins. Finally, the McMaster Marauders women’s team will do battle with the Lakehead Thunderwolves, before their defending champion men’s team welcomes the Trent Excalibur to town.
Another pair of teams, the Toronto Varsity Blues and Queen’s Gaels, will start their respective seasons the following day (November 5th) after seeing each other in semifinal play just a season ago. While the former got the better of the latter in both of those postseason tilts, a clean slate brings new opportunities for the perennial powers, who finished first and second, respectively, in the East Division a season ago.
While the reigning Forsyth Cup champions will be among the group getting their campaign started on opening weekend, the Quigley Cup winners will have to wait until Week 2 to begin their title defence. Both the Brock Badgers men and women, the latter coming off of their first OUA championship a season ago, will get underway with a home-and-home against the Gryphons on November 12th and 13th, respectively.
Joining Brock as the final squad to see the court this season is the Trent men’s team, who will join their fellow Excalibur for a pair of tilts with Windsor as part of the Week 2 calendar (November 12th and 13th).
The fall semester games will come to a close on December 3rd before the season hits the home stretch in the winter starting on January 6th. Among those winding down the first half of the schedule on that first December weekend are the Badgers and Blues, who will do battle in a back-to-back on the 2nd and 3rd, marking a pair of tantalizing rematches of the past two Quigley Cup finals. Those same dates will mark a pair of games between the Gaels and Marauders as well, with the pair of playoff-tested combatants getting set to renew their rivalry to help close out the 2022 calendar.
The Marauders will also need to be at the top of their game coming out of the holiday break, meanwhile, as their second week of play in January brings with it a Forsyth Cup rematch against Toronto on January 15th. The two sides will meet for a second time to help close out the campaign on February 19th.
Not only will these championship rematches boast plenty of playoff potential in the latter half of the season, but countless other matches down the home stretch, and it will be more than just the recent finalists being put to the test. Teams will continue to be tested until the final points are earned on February 19th, as evidenced by the additional late season matchups between the Excalibur and Paladins (Feb. 10th, 11th), Gaels and Warriors (Feb. 17th, 18th), and Mustangs and Lakers (Feb. 18th, 19th), among others.
From there, the top eight teams will advance to the three-round postseason, beginning on February 25th, with the top four seeds earning home games in Round 1 (No. 8 vs. No. 1; No. 7 vs. No. 2; No. 6 vs. No. 3; No. 5 vs. No. 4). The winners will then advance to the semifinals the following week (March 4th) in a pure bracket format and play for a chance to claim their spot in the Quigley or Forsyth Cup Championships on March 11th.
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