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Playoff Preview: Gee-Gees earn first round bye, set to face York in quarterfinals

Brooklynn McAlear-Fanus dribbles the ball.
Photo: Greg Mason.

The U SPORTS second-ranked Gee-Gees women's basketball team is set to begin their quest for the Critelli Cup on Saturday after securing a first round bye in the playoffs. The Gee-Gees' program best record of 21-2 solidified their place atop the OUA East standings, and allowed the team to sit idle waiting for their opponent to be decided.

On Wednesday night, York defeated Queen's to earn their trip to Ottawa to take on the Gee-Gees. The Lions, fresh from solid wins against Ryerson, Toronto, and now Queen's will give the Gee-Gees a strong quarterfinals opponent to begin their path in the playoffs.

In two meetings this season, the Gee-Gees came away victorious in two lopsided affairs, first earning an 88-58 win at home in January, followed by a 78-50 win in Toronto just two weeks ago.

"We've had a great regular season, it's been a solid year to this point, and now we just have to get out there and play and let things fall the way they will, and play hard which I know the girls will do," said Gee-Gees head coach Andy Sparks.

"Nationals has been the goal all year for this team, ever since we were playing American teams in Costa Rica during the pre-season. We knew we had a team that could play at the necessary level and now we just have to step up and do it." 

With a stroke of luck, the OUA playoff schedule favours the Gee-Gees this season. As the OUA East's top-seed, the Gee-Gees will have home court advantage throughout all of the playoffs, including a potential spot hosting the Critelli Cup final, something that rotates every other year. 

"It's been pretty special to be honest", said fifth-year guard Sarah Besselink of the team's impressive regular season. "I think we have a really special team this year, so hopefully we can do great things going forward, but we just have to take it one game at a time."

Action is set to get underway at Montpetit Hall on Saturday at 1 p.m. against York. Tickets are available online at tickets.geegees.ca and the game will be streaming live on OUA.tv.