Trent Excalibur volleyball and men’s rugby programs are playing their last season in Ontario Collegiate Athletic Association (OCAA) competition, as they prepare to return to the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) next year.
The OCAA holds leagues and tournaments mostly reserved for Ontario colleges with two-year programs; however, in recent years it has welcomed a few four-year universities such as Trent’s volleyball and men’s rugby program.
Trent’s teams have fared quite well competing in the OCAA, in particular men’s rugby, who medaled in three of the last four years with a fourth-place finish the year they didn’t, and women’s volleyball, who finished fourth last year and the year before that, bronze.
The men’s volleyball hasn’t been quite as successful, but last season, they made the playoffs before being knocked off by Niagara.
In a press release by Trent Athletics, men’s volleyball head coach Mike Hubicki stated, “Our team is building to be a strong contender for entry into OUA … We will be building on an 11-7 record and look forward to joining OUA for the 2016-17 season.”
The teams moving to OUA will likely face stronger competition. OUA schools have their student athletes for four years, which gives teams more time to develop and, on the whole, are much bigger schools that select from large student bodies.
However, the move should also help Trent recruit athletes.
Trent athletics director Deborah Bright-Brundle told the Peterborough Examiner, “From a recruitment perspective, it helps to have all our athletes being recruited for competition in the OUA.”
If the start of this season is any indication, Trent men’s rugby is well on its way to putting together a team that will compete in the OUA.
In four games thus far this season, the team has rolled through their competition, outscoring them 267-36.
Neither of the volleyball teams have started their regular season.