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By Ali Lee, Vikes Communications

VICTORIA, B.C. – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team debuted on their new home court at the Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities (CARSA) today, Oct. 3, with an entertaining 80-67 pre-season win over the UNBC Timberwolves. The single-header exhibition game is sandwiched in the middle of a six-game men’s basketball Guy Vetrie Memorial Tournament.


The Vikes women were led, inevitably, by their veterans as fourth-year captain Jenna Bugiardini finished with a game-high 26 points and eight rebounds. Jenna Krug had 14 points, while Nicole Karstein had 11 points and eight rebounds. Second-year and reigning Canada West Rookie of the Year Amira Giannattasio chipped in with 13 points.

The Timberwolves were led by an impressive performance from first-year forward Maria Mongomo Cavallo who put up 17 points and eight rebounds. UNBC’s Vasiliki Louka, at six-foot-three, put up 15 points and hauled down 10 boards, while Hannah Pudlas added 10 points.

UNBC rookie Mongomo got things started scoring a three-pointer off the opening Timberwolves possession. Victoria responded with Jenna Krug getting the first Vikes women’s basket on the new performance gym floor. The teams traded buckets with nine points being credited to Mongomo while the home side spread their scoring mostly amongst Bugiardini and Karstein. The Vikes were up 14-12 when Kylie Pozniak’s jumper got UNBC within two. Krug hit the game’s second three-pointer to give the Vikes a boost, up 17-13, while the teams remained even at 19-19 entering the second.

In the second quarter the Vikes got hot, out-scoring UNBC 17-13, thanks to the hands of their captain Bugiardini. The fourth-year guard put up eight points to bring her first-half total into double digits, at 15. Karstein, at six-foot-one, was pivotal under the hoop pulling down six rebounds and scoring eight points in the half. UNBC stayed in it with scoring from Louka and Mongomo, while the Timberwolves gave up 12 turnovers to Victoria’s six. The score remained 36-32 in favour of the home side at half time.

The Vikes continued their offensive performance, out-scoring UNBC 18-13 in the third, thanks to another eight points from Bugiardini. The fourth year put up two three-pointers to add her total, while the Vikes led by as much as 11 in this frame. UNBC went cold for a while despite another five points from Louka and four from Jasprit Nijjar. Krug had a nice take to the hoop in the dying seconds of the quarter to give the home side a 54-45 lead after 30 minutes of play.

In the fourth the Vikes continued to poor on the pressure, out-scoring UNBC 26-22. Sinclair was able to dip into her bench and see notable performance from first-year Vikes Marissa Dheensaw and Katie Langdon. UNBC’s scoring well started to run dry with most of their points coming from the charity stripe. The home side continued their offensive pace all the way to a 80-67 final score.

Up next the Vikes women will head to Quebec for the McGill Red Bird Classic, Oct. 16-18, where the team will face McGill, Wilfrid Laurier and Thompson Rivers. The Vikes will also host Western Ontario, Ryerson, Thompson Rivers and MacEwan in pre-season home games, Oct. 23-Nov.1.

UNBC: 19-13-13-22 : 67
UVIC: 19-17-18-26 : 80

UNBC: Maria Mongomo Cavallo (17), Vasiliki Louka (15), Hannah Pudlas (10)
UVIC: Jenna Bugiardini (26), Jenna Krug (14), Amira Giannattasio (13), Nicole Karstein (11)