ACAC & RSEQ dominate womens basketball
WELLAND,ON–Competition among provincial conferences in the CCAA women’s basketball league has gotten tighter as the season’s progressed. The current top five teams represent only two conferences – two from Quebec’s RSEQ league, and three from Alberta’s ACAC league.
Currently in the top spot are the Montmorency Nomades of Laval, Quebec. Their success is no surprise to CCAA national basketball convenor Mireille Beland. “The Quebec conference is very strong at the national level,” explains Beland, and the Montmorency women are hoping to go all the way. “The ultimate goal is the national championships,” confirms Nomades coach Guillaume Giroux. “Of course, the provincial championships must come first.”
The Nomades may find themselves pitted against the Vanier College Cheetahs of Ville de St. Laurent, Quebec. Currently ranked third in the country, Vanier has only recorded two losses this season, both to the Nomades. Because the Quebec conference is entitled to a wildcard spot at the CCAA Women’s Basketball Championships, both teams have a chance at making the cut.
Meanwhile in second place are the SAIT Polytechnic Trojans of Calgary. Coach Donovan Martin was “somewhat surprised” by the team’s strong performance in the fall semester because they had lost a few of their top scorers, including Kim Lee, 2010 CCAA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year. Despite having “a lot of holes to fill,” the Trojans are holding their own in a competitive conference. “There are at least seven strong teams in the Alberta league, and any of them could win or lose to the others on any given day.”
Martin may well be referring to the MacEwan Griffins and the Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves, of Edmonton and Grande Prairie respectively. The Griffins made a big leap in the national rankings this week, jumping from 13th place to fourth. Despite the loss of players to injuries and academics, the team is an offensive threat on the court. “Our determination to overcome adversity has allowed us to come together as a group,” explains coach Robert Poole.
Meanwhile, Grande Prairie is holding strong in fifth place. “We are very pleased with the success we have achieved on the court thus far” said coach David Waknuk. “I believe it also reflects the positive progress we are making as a program. The ACAC is an extremely competitive league and we know we have to be playing at our best during the league championships.”
All of the CCAA’s five conferences are currently represented in the top 10; they include the Sheridan Bruins of Ontario’s OCAA, the St Thomas Tommies of the ACAA, and the Capilano Blues of the BCCAA. All conferences will be represented at the CCAA Women’s Basketball Championships, hosted by the Niagara College Knights. Though not ranked in the top 15, the Knights have earned a reputation as a high-scoring team currently ranked fifth in the OCAA.
The 2011 CCAA Women’s Basketball Championships will be hosted by Niagara College March 17-19 in Welland, Ontario.
Communications and Events Coordinator
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CCAA Canadian Colleges Athletic Association
ACSC Association canadienne du sport collégial
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