Tale of the Weekend
It’s a big year for the Vikes women’s rugby team and the season kicks off with a showdown against the UBC Thunderbirds on Sunday in Vancouver, with the game scheduled to start at 1 p.m. PT.
The CIS women’s rugby championship is coming to campus in November and that means a spot at nationals has been set aside for the team that enters looking to defend their 2015 Canada West title.
The Thunderbirds haven’t beat the Vikes in regular season action since October 5, 2013, and a lot has changed since then. UVic, now a force to be reckoned with in Canada, enter the match ranked sixth in Canada and first on the Canada West coaches poll led by second-year head coach Brittany Waters.
Last Time Out
Last year the Vikes demonstrated that they can and will show up in the clutch.
After a 2-2 regular season, UVic won four of their five playoff games, including two of their three games in the CIS Championship. Unfortunately, their only loss came in their first game at nationals against Concordia.
The Thunderbirds enter the season last in the Canada West coaches poll after a disappointing 2015 season that saw them walk away without a win. But UBC did win the National University 7s tournament in March and have a lot to look forward to in the 2016 season.
By the Numbers
2005: The last time and only time the Vikes hosted the CIS Championship before this year. Western ultimately walked away with the ultimate prize.
1: The number of years it took Brittany Waters to win her first Canada West championship as head coach of the Vikes. The national team member enters her second season having proven much already.
9: Years since Chelsea Minter first joined the program, as the veteran returns to the pitch for her fifth year after a number of years away from the program.
Brittany Waters, Vikes head coach
“It’s actually really great timing for us—we’re coming off our strongest season last year but we’re still underdogs, I would say. Having nationals and knowing that we have an automatic berth for that takes a lot of pressure off and gives us a chance to really gel as a team and find out who we’re going to be heading into nationals.”
“A lot of the players that we brought in this year have a lot of experience under their belt. Chelsea Minter is a past Vike, this is her fifth year, then we have some other girls who have played at the premiership level as well as B.C. So some of our rookies are very strong coming into this, which is really nice. We had a really strong group last year and so we’ve been able to fill any holes with experience.”
Sunday, Sep. 18 – 1:00 p.m. – at UBC Thunderbirds – Vancouver, B.C.
University of British Columbia (2015: 0-3-1)
CIS Top Ten: N/A
Canada West Pre-Season Ranking: 5
Last Canada West Title: N/A
Last CIS Title: N/A