By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications
November 5, 2013, VICTORIA (ISN) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team will host the No. 3 CIS-ranked Fraser Valley Cascades this weekend, Nov. 8-9, at McKinnon Gym.
After splitting last weekend the Vikes hope a little home crowd advantage will play a role in upsetting the mainland visitors who swept the weekend with 38 point and 24-point advantages over Lethbridge and Calgary, respectively.
The Vikes had a solid pre-season with a 5-2 record that saw them go 2-1 to CIS schools. Reigning Canada West Rookie of the Year Jenna Bugiardini did not play shy posting a 28-point game against Wilfrid Laurier and a 27-point game against Warner Pacific. Entering the regular season, however, the five-foot-eleven Hamilton, Ont. native was held off the board and kept quiet.
On Nov. 8, the Vikes opened their season wit ha 83-65 win over the Brandon Bobcats. Third-year guard Jenny Lewis took aim with a team-high 18 points, while returning senior forward Sarah Semeniuk won the battle in the paint to add 16 points.
The following night the Vikes fell 85-64 to the now No. 10-ranked Regina Cougars. Point guard Cassandra Goodis was the lone Vike to show up on the night with 18 points, while Semeniuk chipped in with 10. The Vikes had a good opening quarter, out-scoring the Cougars 21-13 but the hosts, who ended the Vikes’ 2012-13 post-season campaign with a 2-0 sweep, battled back for the remaining three quarters.
Despite losing key fifth-year scorer Debbie Yeboah, the team returns several seasoned veterans including Jessica Renfrew, Shaylyn Crisp, Goodis and Lewis. Head coach Dani Sinclair will be working to get the most of her freshmen class, which includes international recruit and five-foot-eleven forward Mickaela Turik, as well as guards Emily Jentsch and Jordan Christie.
Currently with a 1-1 record in the Canada West, the unranked Vikes will have to turn it around as they face current Pacific Division leaders, the Fraser Valley Cascades, this weekend. The Cascades had a 2-0 opening weekend defeating Lethbridge, 70-32, and Calgary, 60-36.
Last weekend the Cascades had no trouble finding the hoop as four players hit double-digits in the win over the Horns. Kaylie Sartori led the way with 15 points and eight rebounds, while fourth-year Aieisha Luyken chipped in with 12 points and six assists. The night following, Sarah Wierks posted a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds in the victory over Calgary.
Cascades coach Al Tuchscherer returns 12 players from last season’s team that broke the school mark for regular season wins with 18, while going on to win the Pacific Division title. The Cascades also won the Canada West bronze and made their inaugural appearance at the CIS championship last March.
The Cascades and Vikes will do battle twice this weekend beginning Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. and then again Nov. 9 at 5 p.m. Both games will take place at Ken and Kathy Shields in the McKinnon Gymnasium and will be broadcast with live video and stats at canadawest.tv. For ticket information visit http://govikesgo.com/sports/2009/7/1/tickets.aspx