Peter Reid | Athletic Staff
It was double delight for Redeemer’s badminton program. Owen Kurvits captured the OCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year award and, 24 hours later, backed it up by winning the Provincial Championship in London, ON.
Kurvits swept through the round robin competition on Friday and Saturday morning before defeating Centennial's Howard Ng (Semi Final) and Humber's Jessie Assing (Final) en route to his 2nd consecutive OCAA Provincial Championship crown. Kurvits did not drop a single game the entire tournament, winning 14 straight to finish with a 7-0 match record.
In the final, Kurvits won the 1st game 21-8 before completing the straight sets victory with a 21-16 win. Kurvits fell behind early in the 2nd and was down 9-5 before mounting a comeback and taking his first lead of the set at 16-15. From there, he never looked back, going on a 5-1 run to win the Provincial title.
It was a proud day for Head Coach Benno Kurvits, who is also Owen's Father. "Owen certainly had to earn it today," commented Kurvits. "He had a great tournament, played with consistency, a lot of focus, skill, and determination."
The victory means a 2nd straight appearance at the CCAA National Championships for the 2nd year athlete. In 2014, Kurvits finished 4th place overall at the National Championship after falling to Humber's Ryan Chow in the National Bronze Medal match. In 2015, Chow is competing in Men's Doubles.
This year's National Championships are being held in Halifax, March 5th-7th.
Kurvits winning the OCAA Male Badminton Player of the Year added to a long list of 'firsts' for Redeemer in its brief history in the OCAA. Kurvits has been at the center of many of these 'firsts' and is once again establishing Redeemer Badminton as one of the top programs in the Province.
Prior to the provincial championship, he put together an incredible record of 35-2 in Men's Singles over the course of the 2014-2015 season, displaying his dominance and his ability.
This season, Kurvits has been to every Men's Singles final in each of the 4 invitational tournaments he attended. He was the tournament Champion in two invitationals and lost in the finals in the other two – his only losses of the season.
For Redeemer, it is the school’s 2nd OCAA Player of the Year in its history. 3-Time All-Canadian Men's Volleyball star, Ryan Talsma, was named the Men's Volleyball Player of the Year in 2009-2010.
Owen Kurvits is also holder of the CCAA Fair Play award as well, proving his respect for the game and respect for his opponents. He continues to be the model of respect and fair play during the 2014-2015 season. He earns respect from his competitors for his impeccable character and discipline in his approach to each game as well as his off-court attitude and behavior. Kurvits leads by example by putting in the hard work both in and outside of practice. He is always pushing himself in the weight room and proving his leadership in practice.
The Royals had another chance at a Provincial Medal on Saturday as well; Redeemer's Julie Koopmans and Robyn Bennett found themselves in the Women's Doubles Semi Final match. The pair finished the round robin with a 2-3 record, good enough for 4th place overall. In their semi, they matched up against the #1 ranked Yan and Zhou from Seneca College. The Lady Royals fell in 2 straight and were relegated to the Bronze Medal match where they faced the hosts’ Hogan & Grobbecker from Fanshawe. Bennett and Koopmans dropped their round robin match to the Fanshawe duo 21-14, 22-20 on Friday afternoon.
Fanshawe once again were able to come out on top, although in a much closer match, and the Royals finished 4th overall with a 2-1 loss to the Falcons.