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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

January 14, 2014, VICTORIA (ISN) – After back-to-back losses to two CIS top-10 teams, Albert and Saskatchewan, the University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team are ready to get back on track with a pair of road games against the UNBC Timberwolves on January 17 and 18.

The 7-5 Vikes are currently in a three-way tie for second in the Pacific Division of the Canada West, while the Prince George squad are one spot behind with a 4-8 record.
Last weekend the No. 4 Huskies dominated the Vikes 73-45, while the No. 3 Pandas stretched the Victoria team 64-54. The home losses didn’t damper the spirits of the Vikes team who know how steep competition is in the Canada West.  Tied for points with Thompson Rivers and UBC, the Vikes are still in contention for a playoff spot with their final 10 games still to play.
Though the Vikes were held to single-digit scoring on Friday night, 2012-13 CIS All-Rookie member Jenna Bugiardini stepped it up Saturday to total 20 points, while Sarah Semeniuk had a strong second half to end the night with 14 points and six rebounds.  To date, third-year Jessica Renfrew has carried most of the scoring this season, leading in double digits in six games of the Vikes’ 12.
Six-foot-three Semeniuk is the leader under the boards with an average of 6.8 rebounds per game, while point guard Cassandra Goodis is no doubt the team’s leader in assists, averaging 4.7 per game.
The Timberwolves are coming off two tough losses, 77-52 to Calgary and 62-50 to Lethbridge. Fifth-year Prince George native Mercedes VanKoughnett is the player to watch as she has lead her team in scoring in seven games, including the last four-straight. VanKoughnett has had significant help from fellow senior and forward Emily Kaehn who is second to VanKoughnett in almost every category including rebounds and assists. Rounding out the veteran trio leading the team is fifth-year guard Jen Bruce who is second on the team in scoring with an average of 12.9 points per game.
In only their second season in the Canada West, UNBC are lead by head coach Sergey Schepotkin who previously spent time in Russia and Lebanon professionally as a player and coach.
The Vikes and Timberwolves will go head-to-head for two games on Jan. 17 and 18 at the Northern Sport Centre at 6 p.m. pacific time. Both games will be broadcast with live video and stats at canadawest.tv.