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Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2018
Marianne Alarie and the Gaels among the elite of the OUA
by Randy Pascal

In many ways, the growth and development in Marianne Alarie’s game has paralleled that of her team, the Queen’s Gaels women’s basketball squad. From a record of 11-8 in her freshman campaign, Alarie and the Gaels would show improvement in both 2015-2016 (14-5) and 2016-2017 (18-1), dropping a 49-41 decision to Carleton in the OUA final last March.

“Coming into first year, I was really unsure as to what my role on the team was and how I fit in with the group dynamic,” Alarie noted last month. “Now in my fourth year, I know what to expect, both on and off the court, and what I’m capable of. I think it’s the same for the team as well.”

“We had a very successful season last year which allowed us to gain a lot of experience. Both our younger players and our more experienced ones now have the confidence it takes to win a championship.” That said, the graduation of starters Robyn Pearson and Emily Hazlett will place even more demands on Alarie, the points per game leader for Queen’s, last year, at 10.7.

“I’m a very offensively driven player, but our team is very defensively driven, which was somewhat difficult for me to adjust to when I arrived,” stated the graduate of Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. “The one thing that my coaches really wanted me to improve when I came in was my defence. I would say I’m a much better defensive player now, which has helped me improve other aspects of my game.”

Looking to pick up exactly where she left off, Alarie opted to join several of her teammates, remaining in Kingston over the summer to train and workout. “This created an amazing atmosphere where every athlete, no matter the sport, pushed each other to be the best they can be,” she explained.

“There’s nothing more motivating than knowing everybody’s got your back. It feels like a family, and that’s a feeling that can’t be matched anywhere other than at Queen’s, at least for me.” Of course, the top end academics to which Alarie is exposed at the prestigious Ontario university certainly adds nicely to the mix, even if it creates a bit of a balancing act for the Life Sciences major.

“I’ve always been a very organized person, so whenever I get the chance, I like to plan my schedule ahead of time and try my best to stick to it,” she suggested. “If I have a short one hour break between classes, I like to maximize my time and get some of the little things done. I try my best to get assignments done ahead of time. A combination of these things helps keep my stress levels low, so I can be focused on basketball when the time comes.”

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