Young Vikes square off with Alumni in UVic Indoor Tournament Opener

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Ali Lee

VICTORIA – The UVic Vikes women’s field hockey team have traded in their outdoor attire and sticks to train indoors for the months of January and February. The indoor game, played on a gym floor with only five players per team on at a time, provides a different opportunity for players to focus speed and skills since the court is much smaller and the sidelines are patrolled by boards to keep the ball in play.

This weekend, Jan. 21-22, the Vikes host the annual UVic Indoor Tournament comprised of club teams from around the province including the UBC Thunderbirds, the Jokers, Rebels, Shawnigan and a UVic alumni squad.

The Vikes will be led by head coach Lynne Beecroft, in her 28th season, as well as Krista Thompson, in her 15th season as assistant coach. Defenders Jasleen Aujla (Surrey, B.C.) and Kyla Kirby (Victoria, B.C.) anchor the backfield, while Courtney Ellis (Victoria, B.C.) and Courtney Low (Richmond, B.C.), provide much of the offensive threat for the young squad.

“The indoor game is excellent for skill development. It challenges the athletes to make decisions quicker and under pressure,” said assistant coach Thompson. “We are also very excited to have the alumni present for the weekend. It shows that that former Vikes still believe the indoor game is important and are continually supporters of the Vikes program.”

The Vikes will play their first match on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the Ian Stewart Complex gym against a UVic alumni squad comprised of members of a variety of CIS Championship teams. Alumni Perri Espeseth, Natalie Wise, Sumeet Aujla, and Ali Lee of the 2008 CIS Championship team will make-up the core of the squad. Also joining the team are Olympian Sara Brant (neé Ballantyne), a two-time CIS champion in ’84 and ’87, as well as Sandy Zinkowski, a four-time national champion with the Vikes in ’92, ’94, ’95 and ’97.

The tournament will be hosted in conjunction with an alumni field hockey dinner on Jan. 20, where several other alumni will be present to help continue the celebration of the Vikes’ 11 national championship titles. Olympians Milena Gaiga and Nancy Mollenhauer (neé Charlton), as well as stand-out Vikes Jennifer Budding (neé Van Dyk), Gillian Horgan (neé Batey), Meggan Oliver (neé Hunt), Cara Jay and Heather Benson will also be apart of the weekend.

The Vikes wrap up their indoor season competing at the BC Senior Indoor Championships, Feb 4-5, in Duncan, B.C.

For information on the UVic Alumni field hockey dinner on Friday, Jan. 20, please click here.

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:

Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012

10 am – Shawnigan G vs Rebels

11 am – UVic vs UVic Alumni

12 pm – Rebels vs UBC

1 pm – Jokers vs Shawnigan G

2 pm – UVic vs Shawnigan B

3 pm – Jokers vs UBC

4 pm – Shawnigan B vs UVic Alumni

5 pm – Jokers vs Rebels

6 pm – Shawnigan G vs UBC

 

Sunday Jan 22 2012

9 am – cross-over game

10 am – Semi-final 1

11 am – Semi-final 2

12 pm – 5th/6th place game

1 pm – Bronze medal game

2 pm – Gold medal game

2:50 pm – Awards presentation

 

All games at Ian Stewart Complex Gym

Admission: Free

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