TORONTO, ON – After what felt like forever, the OUA Women’s Basketball season is once again on the horizon. We are days away from the first OUA pre-season game and the anticipation grows hour by hour. Teams’ rosters are set, their game schedule is set and now the prediction of what teams will do can start.
Throughout the league, a trend of younger rosters compared to previous years is appearing. Teams have had a school year where senior athletes can finish their education, graduate and their spot isnt required to be filled because of no season requiring a set roster. The graduating seniors of the 2019-20 season, combined with the students who graduated during the COVID-19 year created larger-than-normal gaps in rosters and as the 2021 season is set to begin, there is a large group of rookies or 2nd year players who have yet to play a game of OUA basketball.
Pre-season games for the OUA begins on October 14th with the Waterloo Warriors playing at home against the Laurentian Voyageurs. With a new coaching staff led by Jessica Roque and veterans such as Beth Howlett and Kaitlyn Overeem, the Warriors will look to give their fans a good look at the new squad as they take on the Laurentian Voyageurs.
The pre-season picks up on Friday October 15th with teams across the OUA participating in their first action. Toronto Varsity Blues, now led by Tamara Tatham host Concordia, the Carleton Ravens travel to Laval to take on the Rouge et Or, and the Western Mustangs host St. Clair College in their first pre-season game with their new roster and addition of veterans Jessica Morris and Ashley Wheeler, among other games.
Over the next 3 weeks, OUA teams will play pre-season games against a range of OUA, RSEQ, OCAA and Canada West opponents, all preparing for the regular season which begins on November 3rd.
Once the OUA regular season begins on November 3rd, 2021 with the Guelph Gryphons travelling to Windsor to take on the Lancers and the Brock Badgers playing host to the Laurier Golden Hawks, teams will already be in full swing and questions about how the teams will perform, will start to be answered. Will Brock repeat as OUA champions? Will teams like the Rams and the Ottawa GeeGees make another strong push for a title? Who will be this years Player of the Year?
There are many storylines for teams across the league and as the season gets started, they will start to get told. Fans should be excited to see their team hit the court once again and don’t be surprised when the energy is higher than expected as players that I have spoken to all have echoed the same sentiment, they’re just ready to compete against other teams and get on the court again doing what they love.