By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
January 16, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – After a two-week slumber, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team return to the CIS top 10 coaches polls, ranked No. 9 for the week of Jan. 15. This weekend, Jan. 18-19, the Vikes will host the No. 2 Regina Cougars and the Brandon Bobcats at McKinnon Gymnasium.
The Vikes women are coming off back-to-back road wins against Winnipeg, 72-51, and Manitoba, 79-62, which boosted their conference record to 8-4. Regina, leaders of the Prairie Division, have an 11-1 record and have been undefeated since their opening match against Saskatchewan, while Brandon are currently 0-12.
“Regina has a very experienced and veteran team,” said associate coach Dani Sinclair about Friday’s tough match up. “(Regina) have a number of excellent returning players and they have been consistent qualifiers for nationals. They will be a good test for us to see where we are at right now.”
Following the weekend victories, third-year forward Jessica Renfrew (Victoria, BC) was honoured as the conference’s female athlete of the week after the five-foot-ten Claremont grad tallied over 20 points in each of the weekend games. Renfrew has been one of the most consistent scoring and rebounding players for the Vikes.
As the squad hits the mid-way point in their season, the Vikes are now gaining some comfort looking down the bench from players like second-years Jenny Lewis (Fall River, NS) and Shaylyn Crisp (Victoria, B.C.). The pair both came off the bench over the Jan. 11-12 weekend to put up some timely big baskets.
“At this level it’s hard to expect consistency from every single person,” said Sinclair. “We have been pushing the girls and we have been getting a lot of good contribution off our bench, providing us more depth and an opportunity to rest others as playoffs near.”
Key players such as fifth years Debbie Yeboah (Winnipeg, MB) and Chelsea McMullen (Prince George, B.C.), as well as point guard Cassandra Goodis (Penticton, BC) have all made their marks on the leader boards and will be expected to continue that trend this weekend. Yeboah trailed Renfrew this past weekend with 20 and 19 points in the Friday and Saturday games.
The playoff race has begun, with the top four teams qualifying for the first round of conference playoffs and the top two earning hosting rights for the first best-of-three series.
The Vikes will tip off against the Cougars, Jan. 18, at 5 p.m. and against the Bobcats, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. Both games will be at McKinnon Gymnasium and will be broadcast live at http://UVic.canadawest.tv