By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications


By Elizabeth Chan, Vikes Communications

(ISN) – VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team swept the Calgary Dinos on home court during their post-season play-in series, Feb. 20-21, to secure a spot in the Canada West quarter-finals hosted by Thompson Rivers in Kamloops from Feb. 26-28. Winners of this weekend’s best-of-three series, will advance to the conference Final Four on Mar. 6-7.

In Saturday’s sweeping match against the Dinos, the Vikes showed their resilience and were able to slash a 21-point Calgary lead in the third quarter to come back and win their second game of the series. Fifth-year Vike Cassandra Goodis was pivotal in leading and setting up the young Vikes team over the weekend, as she continues to command the floor after recording an all-time 570 career assists so far. On Feb. 21, the recently named Canada West Second Team All-Star logged six steals, four of which were in the final quarter, to give the Vikes a leg up in their final minutes of possession.

Senior Vike Jessica Renfrew has been a consistently big presence on the court and leads the Vikes offence, after pouring in 32 points on Friday night. So far in the second half of the season, the Victoria native has recorded a career-high 36 points on Jan. 16 and 33 points on Feb. 13, and may very well look to repeat her high scoring performances this weekend.

The Vikes know how to dig deep when it comes to offensive team efforts. Three-point ace Amira Giannattasio, recently named Canada West Rookie of the Year, contributes with her timely buckets from beyond the arc to change the tempo of the game. Third-year forward Jenna Bugiardini continues to be a force in the paint in both ends. The Hamilton, Ont. native leads the team in rebounds, averaging at 6.9 per game.

Third-year guard Jenna Krug has also emerged as one of the team’s offensive sparks, while teammates Shaylyn Crisp, Nicole Karstein and Amy Sprangers have been monumental for putting up gritty defence work.

The Thompson Rivers Wolfpack have had a week off to prepare for the Canada West quarter-finals since their weekend split against Fraser Valley on Feb. 13-14, and will be hoping to keep their post-season alive this weekend.

The Wolfpack will be led by the conference second team all-star and senior guard Jorri Duxbury, who averages 12.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and leads in 3.7 assists and 3.2 steals per game.

Fourth-year guard Taiysa Worsfold leads the team in scoring, averaging at 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds per game in 31.3 minutes played. First-year guard Michelle Bos, also named to the conference All-Rookie team on Feb. 25, logs 11.5 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. In addition, Thompson Rivers head coach Scott Reeves is the 2014-15 Canada West Coach of the Year.

Both teams clash at the Tournament Capital Centre in Kamloops from Feb. 26-28. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, while Game 3 is set for 5 p.m. on Saturday if needed. Winners of this weekend move on to the Canada West Final Four on Mar. 6-7.