Vikes down No. 1 Acadia, set up all Canada West game against Lethbridge

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By CIS Communications

Kingston, Ont. (CIS) – The University of Victoria Vikes women’s rugby team dominated the top-seeded Acadia Axewomen 55-12 in the second consolation semifinal of the CIS women’s rugby championship Saturday afternoon at Queen’s University’s Nixon Field. The Vikes (1-1) move to Sunday’s fifth-place game at 8:00 a.m. PST against the Lethbridge Pronghorns, setting up a rematch of the Canada West final won 50-17 by Victoria on Oct. 25.

“Today’s game was great,” admitted first-year Victoria head coach Brittany Waters. “It was the performance we were looking for in the quarter-final, unfortunately it’s a harsh set up with the quarters and semis so if you lose your first game you’re in the bottom four. We came out firing today and looking for that fifth place is the next consolation prize.”

Victoria had the first offensive surge of the match but it was the Axewomen who got the first points on the board with Tamara Dondi getting a pass out on the right side and putting down a try in the eighth minute of play.

The Vikes responded with a stacked right side only to swing the ball out wide on the left givingGurpreet Dhaliwal the opening she needed to tie the match up at 5-5 early in the half. The Vikes didn’t stop there as Caitlin Harvey avoided the Axewomen defence to score a try off a 15-metre run giving Victoria their first lead.

The momentum continued to roll for the Vikes as they drove back deep into the Acadia end, mauling along the try line in an effort to push across a try. Harvey clinched her second try of the match, grabbing a pass out of the maul from Nicole Crowley and diving over the line to put down the try.

Nakisa Levale caught a break as Acadia mishandled a pass in their end which Levale took advantage of with a kick that she ran down to touch in the try zone, scoring the Vikes their third of the half putting them up 22-5 after the opening 35 minutes.

The second half opened with some more Victoria offensive pressure as they returned to the Acadia end. Pam Buisa grabbed and ran with another great pass from Crowley to add some points of her own to the board making it 24 unanswered for Victoria with the convert.

Gillian Bergsma gave her teammates a chip forward that bounced into the Vike’s try zone as both teams ran it down. It was CIS All-Canadian Veronique Russell, who won the race on dove on the ball to score Acadia their first try since the opening minutes of the game.

The Vikes kept the pressure on the Axewomen and closed out the match with four more tries to lock in their 55-12 win.

Harvey was selected as player of the game for Victoria. On Acadia’s side of the action, Russel received the same honour.

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