VICTORIA – Twenty student-athletes were highlighted in today’s Canada West announcement for the women’s basketball all-stars and all-rookies. Among them are University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball players Kristy Gallagher, named a CW Second Team All-Star, and Ashlyn Day, named to the CW All-Rookie team.

The Vikes women’s basketball team are fresh off the end of their season that ended at the hands of the Calgary Dinos in the conference quarter-finals. The Vikes entered their final weekend of play on a 13-game win streak, the second-highest in U SPORTS this season. The team ultimately finished ranked fifth in the Canada West regular season with a 16-4 record.

“At this point in time there is a huge mix of emotions,” said Dani Sinclair, Vikes women’s basketball head coach, whose team was dispatched by the Dinos last weekend, Feb. 16-17. “On one hand I can’t help but feel so much pride for how this team came together. It’s been a special group and I am proud but sad that it’s over. The other side of it is a mixture of sadness and frustration that we wanted to keep the streak going.”

Fourth-year guard Gallagher was the quarter back of the floor and shared most of the statistical categories alongside fellow fourth year Amira Giannattasio. Throughout the regular season, Gallagher averaged 17.8 points per game, 43.4 per cent in shooting, 29.6 minutes played per game, 5.5 rebounds per game and 2.9 assists per game. The Sidney, B.C. native started and played in all 23 games this season and was fourth overall in the conference in free throw percentage (83.3).

“Kristy has a genuine passion for basketball and loves to play,” highlighted Sinclair about Gallagher. “Where she has really developed is in her leadership skills. She took on a huge role this year as the vocal and emotional leader of our team and did a masterful job. In terms of being an all-star, those are the types of things that put you over the hump.”

Gallagher’s season highs included 32 points against Mount Royal on Jan. 27 in a thrilling 85-82 victory and 30 points in a 93-87 road win over Brandon. Gallagher was outstanding in the Feb. 1 victory at home over UBC as she scored 25 points in a 76-74 nail-biting win. Gallagher’s final made shot on her own rebound was what gave the Vikes the win, while the very next day she was pivotal in securing a second victory, this time in Vancouver. The 77-73 win over the T-Birds was the first time the Vikes won in War Memorial Gym since 2013.

“She’s always been a great scorer for us and now she has emerged as a key leader,” said Sinclair. “She plays a pivotal role as our point guard. She was second on our team in rebounding, scoring key baskets to win and she has become that special player. Along with Amira, they really have that ‘it’ factor.”

Gallagher joins Calgary’s Brianna Ghali, Alberta’s Elle Hendershot, UNBC’s Vasiliki Louka and Saskatchewan’s Summer Masikewich on the Canada West Second Team All-Star list.

“The success of teams higher up in the standings are not just because of one player,” acknowledged Sinclair about the duo of Gallagher and Giannattasio. “Kristy and Amira kind of go hand-in-hand. They kind of need each other to play well and Amira had an incredible run in the last few weeks of the season. The two of them have very different personalities so they complemented each other leadership wise, too.”

First year forward Day was a pivotal addition to the young Vikes team. The Kelowna, B.C. native averaged 24.4 minutes per game and 9.3 points per game. Throughout the post-season the five-foot-eleven business major was the top scorer with 16 points in the team’s opening game against the Dinos in the CW quarter-finals. Day logged 26 and 31 minutes in the team’s final two games of the season. Perhaps where Day shined the brightest was on the defensive end of the floor, the rookie recorded three or more steals in nine games during the Canada West schedule.

“Ashlyn was a huge recruit for us,” said Sinclair about the rookie. “She propelled us through the whole year in a lot of ways. There were a few key moments in games she was so important. Two pivotal moments were in Brandon and were down on the road in both games. In one game she had 26 points and in the other she stole the ball and got the lay up for the win.”

“She has some of the best instincts I have seen. That mid-range shot is always knocked down for us and I thought she really showed herself well in the last weekend, in a tough weekend, where Calgary physically dominated us. Ashlyn stepped up and showed another gear. She is an incredible team mate and her ceiling of potential is through the roof.”

Day is joined by Winnipeg’s Robyn Boulanger, Regina’s Carolina Goncalves, Thompson Rivers’ Jordan Haggerty and Lethbridge’s Amy Mazutinec on the Canada West All-Rookie Team.

Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Sabine Dukate / G / Saskatchewan / 3 / Ventspiilsa Latvia
Kyanna Giles / G / Regina / 2 / Winnipeg, Man.
Antoinette Miller / G / Winnipeg / 5 / Phoenix, Ariz.
Maddison Penn / G / UBC / 3 / Avoca Beach, Australia
Tessa Ratzlaff / F / Trinity Western / 4 / Abbotsford, B.C.

Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Kristy Gallagher / G / Victoria / 4 / Sidney, B.C.
Brianna Ghali / G / Calgary / 5 / Calgary, Alta.
Elle Hendershot / F / Alberta / 5 / Lubbock, Texas
Vasiliki Louka / F / UNBC / 4 / Athens, Greece
Summer Masikewich / F / Saskatchewan / Calgary, Alta.

Name / Position / University / Year / Hometown
Kayla Gordon / F / Trinity Western / 5 / Prince George, B.C.
Faith Hezekiah / F / Winnipeg / 3 / East St. Paul, Man.
Charlotte Kot / F / Regina / 5 / Regina, Sask.
Shayna Litman / F / Fraser Valley / 5 / Coquitlam, B.C.
Taylor Randall / G / Manitoba / 2 / Dundas, Ont.

2017-18 CW Women’s Basketball All-Rookies

Name / Position / University / Hometown
Robyn Boulanger / G / Winnipeg / Winnipeg, Man.
Ashlyn Day / G / Victoria / Kelowna, B.C.
Carolina Goncalves / G / Regina / Oeiras, Portugal
Jordan Haggerty / G / Thompson Rivers / Saskatoon, Sask.
Amy Mazutinec / W / Lethbridge / Stirling, Alta.