2013-14 Canada West women’s basketball preview

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October 30, 2013, EDMONTON (ISN) – The 2013-14 Canada West basketball schedule opens on Friday at eight venues, with all 16 teams in action on Friday & Saturday.

Here is a glance at each conference women’s basketball team in preparation for the new season.

ALBERTA PANDAS

2012-13 conference record: 14-8 (3rd Prairie)

2013 playoffs: 2-2

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: 1999

CIS ranking: #1

CW ranking: #1

Key additions: Sarah Binns (G), Jamie Norum (G), Elle Hendershot (F), Colleen Moyer (P), Erin MacKinnon (G)

Key returnees: Sally Hillier (G), Saskia Van Ginhoven (F), Jessilyn Fairbanks (G), Kendra Asleson (F), Renee Byrne (G)

Key departures: Anneka Bakker (F), Katie Arbuthnot (G)

EDMONTON – Flush with returning players, and buoyed by the addition of two more, the 2013-14 University of Alberta Pandas basketball team enter the Canada West season as one of the teams to beat.

After finishing the 2012-13 campaign with a 14-8 record, the Pandas swept UBC in the conference quarterfinals in Vancouver, but were then bounced from the conference championship tournament.

The Pandas enter the 2013-14 season ranked No.1 in Canada West, and No.2 in CIS, thanks to a 9-1 preseason record, which included a close loss (57-50) to the three-time defending national champions from Windsor. Four of Alberta’s top five scorers from last season return, as well as three of their top four rebounders. Sally Hillier (G), Kendra Asleson (F) and Saskia Van Ginhoven (F) will be the driving force of Alberta’s offence this year, while returning guards Jessilyn Fairbanks and Renee Byrne will also be top contributers.

Guards Sarah Binns and Jaime Norum are also back after missing the 2012-13 season. Binns is in her fourth-year of eligibility, and last played CIS ball in 2011-12 when she averaged 13 minutes a game for the Pandas, and scored five points a game, while also racking 11 assists and 17 steals. Norum, meanwhile, gets back on the hard court for the first time since 2010 after dealing with two ACL injuries and rehabilitations. She joined Alberta in time for the 2010-11 season as one of the top guard recruits in Alberta, but blew her knee out in her rookie season. After surgery, and during recovery, Norum blew the same knee out while in Africa with the group Athletes in Action. Having persevered through two surgeries and two rehabilitations on the same knee, Norum played her first game for the Pandas during the preseason, and now provides Alberta with great depth at the guard position.

Adding some size to the Pandas is recruits Elle Hendershot (F), who hails from Lubbock, Texas, and Winnipeg’s Colleen Moyer (P). Adding to Alberta’s depth at guard is former CCAA Academic All-Canadian, and Team Alberta player, Erin MacKinnon.

The regular season starts on the road on November 1-2 when the Pandas travel to B.C. to take on the UBC Okanagan Heat and the TRU WolfPack.

http://athletics.ualberta.ca/ 

BRANDON BOBCATS

2012-13 conference record: 0-22 (8th Prairie, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #15

Key additions: Aleah Bridges, Cassie Cooke, Kinsley Ransom, Amy Williams, Caitlin Lennon

Key returnees: Jaynell Gillett, Kaela Cranston, Stephanie Haynes

Key departures: Chantel Gaslard, Alanna Johnston, Aimee Johnston

BRANDON, MB – It’s a new look and new dynamic for the Brandon Bobcats women’s basketball team. After earning their first wins over CIS opponents in three years this pre-season, there’s a sense of optimism facing the ‘Cats and the 2013-14 Canada West regular season.

The Bobcats put up a 6-4 preseason exhibition record, highlighted by wins over Manitoba and Lakehead.

American imports Aleah Bridges and Cassie Cooke played their first games as Bobcats this pre-season, and showed the impact they will have on a primarily young Bobcats roster.

Bridges, a third-year transfer from Contra Costa College in California, is an up-tempo point guard who brings speed and experience to the Bobcats starting line-up.

Cooke transfers to BU from Cape Breton University, where in her one previous season of CIS basketball she was named first-team All-Canadian, leading the nation in total points (471) and finishing second in scoring average(23.6 points per game). She also played her freshman season with Mount St. Mary’s University in her home state of Maryland.

The return of last year’s starters in Kaela Cranston, Jaynell Gillett, and Stephanie Haynes provides the Bobcats with more experience.

The Bobcats add Caitlin Lennon (Windsor Park – Winnipeg, MB), Stephanie Hunter (Crocus Plains – Brandon, MB) Kinsley Ransom (Boissevain School –Boissevain, MB) Keegan Robinson (Hamiota Collegiate – Hamiota, MB), Amy Williams (A.E. Peacock – Moose Jaw, SK).

http://www.gobobcats.ca/ 

UBC THUNDERBIRDS

2012-13 conference record: 17-5 (2nd Pacific)

2013 playoffs: 0-2

Last CW title: 2012

Last CIS title: 2008

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #5

Key additions: Harleen Sidhu, Lauren Seabrook, Kamila Wojciechowski

Key returnees: Kris Young, Cassandra Knievel, Adrienne Parkin, Maggie Sundberg, Stephanie Bell

Key departures: Leigh Stansfield, Zana Williams, Tori Spangehl

VANCOUVER – Canada West Most Valuable Player Kris Young leads a UBC Thunderbirds team that is working to return to the CIS women’s basketball championship after a first-round playoff exit in 2013. Young was the only player in the league to finish in the top 10 in scoring, assists, rebounding and steals last year.

With no fifth-year seniors, the core group of the team is made up of Thunderbirds entering either their third or fourth years, such as Young. Another impact player will be newcomer Harleen Sidhu. She’s a versatile forward who transferred to UBC from the University of Nebraska. The Surrey, B.C. native can score down low or from beyond the three-point arc.

Returning forwards on the UBC roster include Adrienne Parkin and Stephanie Bell while Cassandra Knievel and second-year player Maggie Sundberg round out the top of the Thunderbirds rotation.

Forwards Andrea Strujic, Erika Vieweg, Susan Thompson and guards Jaime Hills and Cherub Lum will all challenge for more playing time. Vieweg, Thompson and Lum were all limited by injuries last year.

In addition to Sidhu, UBC head coach Deb Huband recruited two other forwards to her program: former Western University player Lauren Seabrook and Kamila Wojciechowski.

http://www.gothunderbirds.ca/ 

UBC OKANAGAN HEAT

2012-13 conference record: 6-16 (7th Pacific, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #16

Key additions: Claire Elliott, Olivia Johnson, Julia Reichert, Shenelle Tamminen

Key returnees: Sarah Allison, Emily Kanester, Krystal Schouten, Angela White

Key departures: Roslyn Huber, Madison Kaneda, Melissa Irish

KELOWNA, BC – It will be hard for head coach Heather Semeniuk, in her 20th season as bench boss for the Kelowna team, to replace the minutes logged by her departed players. Gone are 75 minutes a game and 32-percent of the scoring off of the six-win team from 2012-13.

Back to shoulder the scoring load and to log big minutes are the junior backcourt duo of Emily Kanester (Vernon, BC) and Sarah Allison (South Surrey, BC). The pair of third year guards were one-two on the team in scoring last season (13.5 ppg. and 10.6 ppg. respectively) and will play an even bigger role this season.

Defence from the guards will be a strength of this Heat squad as coach Semeniuk can continually roll out one, two, three, or even four guard lineups that love to play pressure defense. Angela White (N. Vancouver, BC), one of two fourth year players on the team, will again be tasked to shut down the opponent’s top offensive threat. Second year Jessica Jazdarehee (Coquitlam, BC) can also defend, and is a strong rebounder from the guard spot.

Two freshmen, Claire Elliott (N. Vancouver, BC) and Olivia Johnson (Kelowna, BC), both are strong defensive players and have showed well in the preseason. Another rookie that will be asked to play a big role on this team is 6-2 Julia Reichert (Princeton, BC). Krystal Schouten (Winnipeg, MB), the other fourth year on the squad, is the starting post and is finally healthy going into a season.

Scoring has a chance to come from three others on the roster as Tia Sadler (Golden, BC), Laura Marcolin (Rothesay, NB), a transfer from UPEI, and rookie Shenelle Tamminen (Calgary, AB) can all shoot the ball, and score quickly when on the court.

http://www.ubc.ca/okanagan/athletics/welcome.html 

CALGARY DINOS

2012-13 conference record: 19-3 (1st Prairie)

2013 CW playoffs: 3-1 (CW silver)

2013 CIS tournament: 1-2 (4th)

Last CW title: 2001

Last CIS title: 1989

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #7

Key additions: Aimee Wilson, Jessica Thielen, Brianna Ghali, Hayli Hinchey

Key returnees: Tamara Jarrett, Kristie Sheils, Ashley Hirons

Key departures: Jessica Franz, Megan Schaufele, Alex Cole

CALGARY – They shocked the nation – and themselves – with their first-place finish and 19-3 record last season. So don’t expect the University of Calgary Dinos to sneak up on anyone in Canada West women’s basketball this time around.

Reigning conference coach of the year Damian Jennings readies for his sophomore CIS season, preparing to field a team that is far different from the one that finished fourth in the nation at last year’s CIS championship in Regina. By Jennings’ count, he has made 16 individual changes with players coming in and departing since the national bronze medal game last March.

Chosen by the conference’s coaches to finish in the middle of the pack – the Dinos were ranked seventh of 16 schools in the Canada West preseason poll – Calgary limps into the regular season with an 0-6 record in non-conference play. Jennings has been forced to juggle his lineup early, with key recruits Emily Morales and Anmol Mattu suffering season-ending injuries in practice just minutes apart earlier this month.

The Dinos will rely on veterans Tamara Jarrett and Ashley Hirons to provide scoring, while Kristie Sheils will see plenty of time on the floor at the point guard spot. Jennings’ recruiting class was outstanding with some of the top high school players in the province joining the squad, including Edmonton’s Hayli Hinchey, Brianna Ghali from Sir Winston Churchill High School in Calgary, and Chestermere’s Aimee Wilson. Calgary has also added experience in the form of Jessica Thielen, who played Division-I basketball for Eastern Washington University and is working on a graduate degree.

Calgary opens the season on the road this weekend with visits to Trinity Western and Fraser Valley before beginning the home schedule Nov. 8-9 when the Winnipeg Wesmen visit.

http://www.godinos.com/ 

FRASER VALLEY CASCADES

2012-13 conference record: 18-4 (1st Pacific)

2013 CW playoffs: 3-2 (CW bronze)

2013 CIS tournament: 0-2

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: #4

CW ranking: #2

Key additions: Kaitlyn McDonald (G), Hailey Kendall (G), Nataliia Gavryliuk (F)

Key departure: Alexa McCarthy (F)

ABBOTSFORD, BC – The biggest statistic that jumps about the Fraser Valley Cascades is Coach Al Tuchscherer has 12 returning student-athletes from a team that broke the school mark for regular season wins with 18, won the program’s first regular season title (Pacific Division), won the school’s first Canada West medal, a bronze, and made their inaugural appearance at the CIS national championships in Regina last March.

Aieisha Luyken, Mission, BC led UFV on the court and was named second year CW all-star. The fourth year guard averaged 13.4 points per game in 22 regular season contests, recording 62 steals and 129 assists. The Wierks sisters also have contributed to the success of the team, fifth year guard Nicole averages 12.0 ppg and 5.4 boards per game, while Sarah, in fourth year, averages 13.2 ppg and 9.5 rebounds per game.

The Cascades are deep and to keep this tradition going Coach Tuchscherer brings in two of the provinces top recruits in Kaitlyn McDonald from GW Graham Secondary in Chilliwack, BC and Hailey Kendal, a guard from Yale Secondary in Abbotsford, BC.

http://www.ufvcascades.ca/ 

LETHBRIDGE PRONGHORNS

2012-13 conference record: 10-12 (5th Prairie, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: 1993

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #13

Key additions: Mariah Miller (F), Erin James (G), Sara Simovic (G), Kendra Lee (G)

Key returnees: Kim Veldman (P), Ail Cameron (G), Kaitlyn Olsen (G)

Key departures: Erin Skippon, Stephanie Inman

LETHBRIDGE, AB – Despite missing the playoffs for the third season in a row, there were a lot of positives taken away from the 2012-13 season and increased expectation moving forward. In her first season at the helm of the Lethbridge Pronghorn women’s basketball team, Erin McAleenan led the program to their first double digit win season since the 1994-95 season, but a duplication of the 2012-13 season will be a tough task for the Pronghorns in the always tough Canada West conference.

Gone from last season are post Erin Skippon, forward Steph Inman and utility guard Kara Henry. While Skippon was only with the program for one season, her leadership and post presence will be dearly missed.

While the voids left will be hard to fill, the Pronghorns return their top two scorers from last season in Ali Cameron and post Kim Veldman. Cameron, a pure scorer, returns for her 4th season and will look to build off her career best 15 points per game she scored last season.

Veldman, who averaged nearly a double-double last season, will be leaned on heavily at both ends of the floor this season, while senior guard Katlyn Olsen will also be counted on to lead the young ‘Horns squad.

With six true freshmen cracking the Pronghorns roster, there will be some growing pains along the way. Southern Alberta product Mariah Miller has had a nice start to her collegiate career, recording a double-double in only her third preseason game.

Guards Erin James, Sara Simovic and Kendra Lee will all see significant time as freshmen and will need to make significant contributions if the ‘Horns are going duplicate last season’s record.

The ‘Horns open the season on the road, traveling to British Columbia to face the Fraser Valley Cascades and Trinity Western Spartans.

http://www.gohorns.ca/  

MANITOBA BISONS

2012-13 conference record: 2-20 (7th Prairie, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: 1997

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #14

Key additions: Claire Harvery, Jenilyn Monton, Christina Posthumus

Key returnees: Sheree Carmona-Galdamez, Samantha Pyke, Stephanie Gill, Robyn Eyer, Christiane Fischer

Key departures: none

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Bisons look to bounce back from a tough year as they had a smaller roster with new coaches at the helm. This season, Manitoba has added more depth with size, length and athletic.

After a 2-20 season in 2012-13, the Bisons aim much higher as they look to be above .500 and contend for a playoff spot in the ultra-competitive Canada West conference.

There is a strong core that returns to the Herd starting with captain and fifth year guard Christiane Fischer. Along with Fischer and her leadership and skills, fourth year guard Sheree Carmona-Galdamez, fourth year forward Samantha Pyke, fourth year Stephanie Gill and fourth year guard Robyn Eyer all will play pivotal roles in this year’s edition. In addition, former Bisons returning from a year absence include fourth year forward Allison Balasko, fourth year forward Vanessa DeVries and fifth year forward Morgan Cross.

Along with the veterans, there are three rookies that should make an immediate impact in their first year. Forward Claire Harvery completed her high school career at Fort Richmond Collegiate and was a captain in 2012-13. The 6’0″ forward averaged 20 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks per game. Jenilyn Monton finished her high school career at Oak Park as part of the MHSAA ‘AAAA” Championship squad in 2012-13. The 5’6″ guard played varsity for four years. Christina Posthumus finished her high school career at Kildonan East Collegiate. The 6’2″ forward had an impressive final season (2012-13) as she was a captain and averaged 30 points per game with averages of 16 rebounds, 11 assists, five steals plus four blocks while playing 30 minutes.

http://www.gobisons.ca/

MOUNT ROYAL COUGARS

2012-13 conference record: 5-17 (8th Pacific, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #12

Key additions: Alicia Tan, Cassidy Taal, Angela Driscoll, Yasmene Saghir

Key returnees: Danica Rybachuk, Jordan MacLean, Carrie Campbell, Nikki Golding

Key departures: Emily Larsen, Hillary Annich

CALGARY – The Mount Royal Cougars women’s basketball team will have a completely new look as the majority of their players will be playing in their first season in the CIS. Last year’s team went 5-17 after the move to Canada West and it was a sign changes needed to be made. It started at the top as the Cougars landed the much sought-after Head Coach they had been looking for in Len Harvey. Harvey was left Cape Breton where he was an assistant coach with the Capers to become the new bench boss at Mount Royal.

The Cougars brought back four of their top players from last season to essentially a brand new team. Danica Rybachuk, Jordan MacLean, Carrie Campbell and Nikki Golding will be out there competing with a new set of teammates. Rybachuk was third on the team last season behind two graduating players but will be the go to guard for the new look Cougars. MacLean, Campbell and Golding will also have to play more of a role on the offensive end while trying to help and lead this raw squad.

Along the way Harvey picked up several new recruits that saw a team returning very few players and most significantly only a few starters. To help solidify the backend Harvey picked up two guards in Alicia Tan and Angela Driscoll to help Rybachuk to help balance the attack. Cassidy Taal and Yasmene Saghir were added to give the Cougars some much needed size up front.

While the departure of their top two scorers and their head coach may be a cause for concern the Cougars look to be better than before. An energized, youthful team with a young enthusiastic coach will certainly make mistakes but may surprise a few teams as well.

http://www.mrucougars.com/index.aspx?path= 

UNBC TIMBERWOLVES

2012-13 conference record: 8-14 (5th Pacific, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #8

Key additions: G Chelsey Thorne, G Mavia Nijjer, G Cassandra Rerick, F Carly Corrado

Key returnees: G Mercedes VanKoughnett, F Sarah Robin, F Emily Kaehn, G Jennifer Bruce, F Jasprit Nijjar

Key departure: F Kady Dandeneau

PRINCE GEORGE, BC – For the second season the UNBC will be competing in the Canada West conference. Under new leadership the Timberwolves will be looking to build on the success of their inaugural season where they finished with an 8-14 record.

Leading the Timberwolves for the first time will be new head coach Sergey Shchepotkin. Shchepotkin most recently spent two years coaching at Olds College in Olds, AB but made the move to UNBC in August of this year. With professional experience in Russia and Lebanon as a player and coach, Shchepotkin brings years of basketball knowledge to the table.

In their first season as part of the Canada West conference the Timberwolves held their own against the tougher university competition. Finishing with an 8-14 record, UNBC was able to experience some success and will be looking to build on that success again this season with a core of returning players.

Minimal turn over has left the women’s team in a good position to build upon last season’s learning curve. The only key departure for the Timberwolves is Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, BC) who finished her five years of eligibility.

Mercedes VanKoughnett (Prince George, BC), Sarah Robin (Prince Rupert, BC), Emily Kaehn (Hixon, BC) and Jennifer Bruce (Langley, BC) will all be returning to the roster again this year. VanKoughnett, Kaehn, and Bruce will all be entering their fifth year while Robin is in her fourth. VanKoughnett led the team last season in almost every category including points, rebounds, steals and assists.

Included in the crop of seven first year recruits are Mavia Nijjer (Prince George, BC), Cassandra Rerick (Prince George, BC), and Carly Corrado (Kelowna, BC).

The Timberwolves open their second Canada West season on the road in Winnipeg, MB on November 1 and 2. UNBC will take on the Manitoba Bisons November 1 followed by the Winnipeg Wesmen on November 2.

http://www.unbc.ca/athletics/ 

REGINA COUGARS

2012-13 conference record: 19-3 (2nd Pacific)

2013 CW playoffs: 4-0 (CW gold)

2013 CIS tournament: 2-1 (silver)

Last CW title: 2013

Last CIS title: 2001

CIS ranking: #6

CW ranking: #3

Key additions: Nicole Clarke, Sidney Dobner

Key returnees: Megan Chamberlin, Jennilea Coppola, Madi Docherty, Kehlsie Crone, Alyssia Kajati,

Key departures: Michelle Clark, Lindsay Ledingham, Brittany Read, Danielle Schmidt

REGINA – Regina lost four starters from last year’s squad that won a conference title and advanced to the CIS Championship title game on its home court, but wins in seven of nine non-conference games this season shows that the Cougars will likely be among Canada West’s elite once again.

It’s definitely a new look for the Cougars, as the only returning starter is third-year guard Kehlsie Crone. The team’s top scorer so far this season has been University of Alberta transfer Nicole Clarke, while Sidney Dobner – who redshirted last year following a season at Cal State San Marcos – has also fit nicely into the team’s backcourt and leads the team in assists.

Forward Megan Chamberlin, who along with Clarke will be the lone fifth-year players on the team’s roster, will be among the players who Taylor will count on to play an increased role this season. Fourth-year post Jennilea Coppola will start at post with Brittany Read graduated, while third-year players Madi Docherty and Alyssia Kajati and second-year players Charlotte Kot and Katie Polischuk will also see heavy minutes in the rotation.

The Cougars open up their 2013-14 schedule this weekend by hosting a pair of difficult opponents, as they’ll host UBC on Friday night and Victoria on Saturday.

http://www.reginacougars.com/ 

SASKATCHEWAN HUSKIES

2012-13 conference record: 13-9 (4th Prairie)

2013 playoffs: 1-2

Last CW title: 2011

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: #5

CW ranking: #4

Key additions: Antoinette Miller, Madeline Humbert, Megan Lindquist

Key returnees: Dalyce Emmerson, Kabree Howard, Kiera Lyons, Riley Humbert

Key departures: none

SASKATOON – Returning the entire starting lineup for the 2013-14 season, the University of Saskatchewan Huskie women’s basketball squad enters another year looking to be a force in the Canada West.

Leading the lineup is two-time Canada West All-Star Dalyce Emmerson, as well as veteran guards Kiera Lyons, Kabree Howard and Riley Humbert. Emmerson, a 6-3, post, led the Huskies and sat fourth in the conference averaging 17.7 points per game and 9.2 rebounds per game in 2012-13. She honed her skills as part of Canada’s entry at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia, where she played a key role on the squad. Fifth-year Lyons was a big addition to the starting lineup in 2012-13 averaging 14.5 points per game. Howard will quarterback the offence after averaging four points per game and tallying 73 assists last season. Humbert chipped in another 6.7 points per game for the offence while playing 27.5 minutes in a game.

Saskatchewan also has international experience with second-year forward Kaylee Halvorson. The perimeter player donned Canada’s Junior Women’s National Team for the second straight season, helping the entry to a seventh place finish at the FIBA U19 World Championship in Lithuania.

Adding to the team will be import college-transfer Antoinette Miller and high school recruits Madeline Humbert and Megan Lindquist. Miller was named a Second Team All-American by the NJCAA for the Phoenix College Bears. The 5-7, point guard averaged 15.8 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game to earn the honours. Humbert is the youngest in the family of three who all played for the green and white. Older sister Riley enters her fourth season with the Huskies, while the eldest, Jillian, played five seasons and is currently an assistant coach.

The Huskies open their season on the road with a B.C. swing trip visiting the Thompson Rivers WolfPack and UBC Okanagan Heat on November 1 and 2.

http://huskies.usask.ca/ 

THOMPSON RIVERS WOLFPACK

2012-13 conference record: 15-7 (4th Pacific)

2013 playoffs: 0-2

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #9

Key additions: Ryan Kennedy (F), Syd Williams (G), Kassie Colonna (F)

Key returnees: Jorri Duxbury (G), Taiysa Worsfold (F), Sarah Malate (G), Denise Spacek (G)

Key departures: Diane Schuetze, Jen Ju, Tracy Kocs

KAMLOOPS, BC – Scott Reeves and the TRU WolfPack begin a new phase of their history. For the past four years, Diane Schuetze and Jen Ju were the centerpieces of the Thompson Rivers basketball program.

The WolfPack will be looking at a more balanced attack this season.

Although they did lose some key components, Thompson Rivers still has a number of weapons. Jorri Duxbury (4th year, guard, Salmon Arm, BC) is poised to lead the way. Duxbury was one of the top players in the Canada West in 2012-13 in the areas of assists and minutes played.

Another player who is sure to see more attention this year is Taiysa Worsfold (3rd year, Kamloops, BC). Worsfold has solid skills at both ends of the court and is gaining confidence every year.

After red shirting last season, Lethbridge transfer Kassie Colonna (2nd year, forward/post, Invermere, BC) will definitely make an impact in the area of rebounding.

Sarah Malate (3rd year, guard, Calgary, AB), Jenna Quinton (guard, Calgary, AB) and Denise Spacek (guard, Port Coquitlam, BC) will play key roles.

The WolfPack bench includes Rae-Maryse Laljee (4th year, guard, Richmond, BC) and first-year recruits Ryan Kennedy (forward, Okotoks, AB) and Syd Williams (guard, Langley, BC).

Cathy Jordan (1st year, Nanaimo, BC) has international experience from red shirting with the Germany U-20 squad last year.

http://www.tru.ca/athletics.html 

TRINITY WESTERN SPARTANS

2012-13 conference record: 7-15 (6th Pacific, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: N/A

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #10

Key additions: F Kayla Gordon, G Jenna Brakken, F Brooke Pattyn, F Ana Lomavatu

Key returnees: F Holly Strom, G Janelle Traber, G Chantelle Martin

Key departures: G Stephanie Carkner, G Emily Knauff, G Sarah Cleveland

LANGLEY, BC – Led by fifth-year forward Holly Strom (Calgary), Trinity Western will be gunning to make a return to the playoffs this season, after four straight years on the outside looking in. Coach Cheryl Jean-Paul will begin her fourth year as the Spartans bench boss and has as team set to take the next step in the rebuilding project.

After a record-breaking year from Strom last season when she set six TWU season records and led Canada West in scoring with 19.2 points per game, the Spartans will once again rely on the 5-foot-11 forward for points. However, while Strom will certainly be the focal point of TWU’s offence, if the Spartans are to move forward in their progression, it’s going to be a team effort that will get them there.

Look for fifth-year Janelle Traber (Abbotsford, B.C.) and fourth-years Chantelle Martin (Surrey, B.C.) and Laurissa Weigl (Stony Plain, Alta.) to step into much larger roles this year and be major contributors both on and off the court. Combined, the three veteran guards averaged 16.7 points per game last year, but expect much more from a trio that will help form the Spartans leadership core.

At point guard, second-year Luca Schmidt (Langley) will likely open the season running the Spartans offence. Last year, Schmidt averaged 12.8 minutes per game, but having averaged 29.0 minutes per game through the preseason, it’s obvious she will be expected to help fill the shoes of the departed Stephanie Carkner (Port Coquitlam, B.C.). Meanwhile, with her older sister now graduated, second-year Natalie Carkner guard (Port Coquitlam) will also be looked upon to increase her minutes, and will certainly be one of the Spartans strongest perimeter-shooting threats.

Up front, second-year Maddie Lougheed (Owen Sound, Ont.) will be see more starting minutes this year, while first-year forward Kayla Gordon (Prince George, B.C.) will also be the in mix for floor time as the season progresses.

http://www.twu.ca/athletics/ 

VICTORIA VIKES

2012-13 conference record: 16-6 (3rd Pacific)

2013 playoffs: 0-2

Last CW title: 1999

Last CIS title: 2002

CIS ranking: #6

CW ranking: N/A

Key additions: F Nicole Karstein, F Emily Jentsch, F Mikaela Turik, F Jordan Christie

Key returnees: F Jessica Renfrew, G Cassandra Goodis, G Jenna Bugiardini, G Jenny Lewis, G Shaylyn Crisp,

Key departures: G Debbie Yeboah, F Chelsea McMullen, G Tessla Rennie

VICTORIA, BC – The Victoria Vikes enter this season without the scoring touch of Canada West First Team All-Star Debbie Yeboah and fellow starter Chelsea McMullen. The team will now turn towards returning point guard Cassandra Goodis and forward Jessica Renfrew to lead the young squad.

Dani Sinclair returns to the helm for first official season as head coach of the Vikes after guiding the 2012-13 squad to a 16-6 record and a crack at the conference quarter-finals. Sinclair’s crew have relied on seasoned second year Jenna Bugiardini, a CIS All-Rookie team member in 2012-13, to add some consistent two-way play to the mix while third-year guards Shaylyn Crisp and Jenny Lewis will be regularly pushing for a starting spot.

Fourth year Sarah Semeniuk has offered the Vikes the majority of their height in the paint as the six-foot-three forward returns from a year off due to injury. Also entering the season fresh off injury is rookie Mikaela Turik, the team’s international recruit from Australia.

Looking down the bench the Vikes bring experience from fifth-year forward Allison Mulock, who has logged important minutes in the pre-season. In addition the Vikes add to the fold freshmen Emily Jentsch and Jordan Christie.

Throughout pre-season exhibition the Vikes posted a 3-2 record with two wins over Wilfrid Laurier and a win over Portland’s Warner Pacific College.

http://www.govikesgo.com/ 

WINNIPEG WESMEN

2012-13 conference record: 7-15 (6th Prairie, missed playoffs)

Last CW title: N/A

Last CIS title: 1995

CIS ranking: N/A

CW ranking: #11

Key additions: Tia Ruddock, Skylar Boulanger, Brittania Brown, Kelsey Ngo, Adele Baril

Key returnees: Stephanie Kleysen, Alyssa Grant, Danielle Baril, Megan Noonan, Kerri Kuzbyt, Taylor Thorkelsson,

Key departures: Alex Warburton, Lauren Anderson, Tia Coulter, Yael Kaplan

WINNIPEG – Head coach Tanya McKay, entering her 18th season with the Winnipeg Wesmen, has once again assembled a group of players with a variety of playing experience.

The team will have two fifth year players providing leadership for the team. Alyssa Grant and Danielle Baril enter their final campaigns with the Wesmen each looking to lead the team to a playoff berth in the Prairie Division. The heart and soul of the team is fourth year guard Stephanie Kleysen. Kleysen averaged over nine points per game last year and was the team leader in rebounds with over seven boards per game. Second year guards Megan Noonan and Kerri Kuzbyt showed great promise in their rookie campaigns and both have shown significant improvement in their second seasons. Taylor Thorkelsson is another player who showed flashes in her first year. Thorkelsson will be looking to make more of an impact in her second season with increased playing time.

Four new faces will join the team for the 2013-2014 season. Tia Ruddock comes to the Wesmen from Red River College. Ruddock is a prolific scorer from the guard position and will provide added depth for the team. Brittania Brown from Toronto, Ontario has shown promise during the pre-season and she will be looking to carry that play into the regular season. Skylar Boulanger has provided solid play at the post position during pre-season action. Boulanger finished the pre-season with two double-doubles. Kelsey Ngo rounds out the list of first year players and will be adding depth to the team.

http://www.wesmen.ca/ 

Canada West Annual Publication: www.azbycx1928.com/cw78hjfdbje/ 

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