VICTORIA—The UVic Vikes women’s rugby team will head to Lethbridge this coming weekend to try and defend the Canada West Championship title that they claimed last season.
The Vikes, who are the number two seed in the tournament, play the University of Alberta Pandas in a semi-final clash. That game is scheduled to go October 21 at 2:00 p.m.
At last years tournament the Vikes were the underdog in their semi-final contest against these very same Pandas. The Vikes won that game 26-20, kick-starting a playoff run that saw them finish in fifth place in the nation.
The other semi-final will see the undefeated Calgary Dinos take on the host Lethbridge Pronghorns. Calgary won the regular season meeting between those teams 64-10.
The bronze medal game goes at 10:00 a.m. October 23, but the game the Vikes will hope to be competing in is the Canada West Championship game that will start at noon on October 23.
The Vikes and the Pandas last did battle September 30. Madeleine Graham scored four tries in the contest to lead the Vikes to a 42-17 victory.
Last Time Out
The Vikes ended their regular season on a positive note. They defeated the Lethbridge Pronghorns 48-10 to enter the playoffs with a 3-1 record.
The Pandas meanwhile, come into the tournament smarting, after the Calgary Dinos beat them 52-12 in Edmonton.
By the Numbers
42: The number of points last years Canada West MVP, Jess Neilson scored in the regular season. Good enough for second in the conference.
20: The number of points Amee Svatos scored this season to lead the Pandas. Svatos will be one to watch in the semi-final, the fifth-year player was a CIS tournament all-star in 2013.
Brittany Waters, Vikes head coach
“I think it’s a benefit to have played Alberta recently and to have a pretty good idea of their strengths and weaknesses. We had a great result against them but we are aware that we are going in to a playoff game and that they will be stronger than when we last faced them.”
“Last year the team improved so much from our Canada West and Nationals experience. We are looking forward to Canada West and having more games to build as a team. We want to go in to the Nationals as the number one seed from our conference. I think it’s good for the girls to feel pressure at Canada West in preparation for Nationals.
Gabrielle Senft, second-year 8
On the upcoming game against Alberta
“Now we have some idea of what to expect on their lineouts and other plays. I’m sure they’ll switch some things up but it’s good to have a gist of how they play.”
On how the weekly preparation differs ahead of a championship tournament
“In practice we have to be mentally stronger and think about our ultimate goal. We have to be mentally switched on and pushing harder than we would leading into just a normal game.”
Friday, Oct. 21 – 2:00 p.m. – vs University of Alberta Pandas – Lethbridge, AB
University of Alberta (2-2-0)
CIS Top Ten: N/A
Canada West Standings: 3
Last Canada West Title: 2014-15
Last CIS Title: 2013-14