Coming off their 2010-11 ACAA Championship, the STU Tommies women’s basketball team opened up the new season with three exhibition games in Quebec. For years, the Tommies have begun their season with this same road trip.
“It’s definitely not the easiest way to kick off a new year, playing some of the most difficult teams throughout the entire ACAA, but it shows us where we need to be skill-wise to compete,” said third-year guard Renee LeBlanc.
After a 10-hour drive on Friday, the Tommies were put right to the test against host Vanier Cheetahs. Whether it was the long drive or the fact it was the first game of the year, the Tommie’s could not keep up with the high powered Cheetahs, and eventually went on to lose the game 90 to 48.
Although it wasn’t the result they were looking for, a lot of good things came from the game, including chemistry with the new players.
Saturday’s game was a different story for the Tommies, as they faced Montreal’s Mount Morency’s College. STU kept it close the entire game, and was barely down after 20. They continued to battle in the second half and eventually only falling by 13 to the Nomades.
The team was lead by co-captain Kelly DeBow with 16 points and rookie Kelly Vass, in only her second game with the team, added 11 in the loss.
Following the game on Saturday the team travelled to Quebec City to play Saint Foy. Once again the Tommie’s proved they could keep up with Les Dynamiques the entire game. The final score was 69-53 for Saint Foy and even though that wasn’t the outcome they were looking for, it further solidified the Tommie’s as a team that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Co-captain and 4th year veteran of the team Jill Lamoureau lead the Tommie’s with 14 against les Dynamiques, while first-year Hillary Goodine collected 11 points.
“It’s a major step up from high school, but I felt the team really started to come together as the weekend went on,” Goodine said.
The expectations are once again extremely high for the Tommie’s, as they begin their journey to try and repeat as ACAA champions. The team lost their star player Heather Atherton (captain, first team all star, defensive player of the year) and that’s not going to be an easy void to fill.
Once again Coach Fred Connors did a remarkable job in recruiting, and would expect to see many and if not all of the rookies make a huge impact to the team this year. If this weekend is any indication, it’s going to be an exciting year for the women, and one not to be missed.
Join the STU Tommies and their supporters at the first annual Tommies Autumn Auction & Dinner Oct. 5 at the Fredericton Inn. Tickets are 50$ each or 400$ for a table of eight.
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