Posted on September 17, 2012 by Jadene Mah

Both the men and women’s Vikings basketball teams will face off against the Grant MacEwan Griffins in preseason action at home Thursday night and begin their long march towards the ACAC playoffs this coming spring. The Vikings women will take the court at 6pm and the men at 8pm in the gym here at the …

Both the men and women’s Vikings basketball teams will face off against the Grant MacEwan Griffins in preseason action at home Thursday night and begin their long march towards the ACAC playoffs this coming spring. The Vikings women will take the court at 6pm and the men at 8pm in the gym here at the University of Alberta—Augustana.

The Vikings women’s basketball had one of their best years in recent memories last season finishing third in the ACAC Northern Division behind MacEwan and Lakeland. The women lost their quarter-final playoff series against Lethbridge 2-1. All three games were tightly contested battles that saw Lethbridge squeak out two very tight wins to move on to the final four. The Vikings look to improve on last season and make sure they are playing in the final four next March, as the Vikings are set to host the final tournament this spring.

In the Season opening weekend against Grant MacEwan last fall the women lost both games; those two losses seemed to awaken a sleeping monster in the Vikings last season, who went onto a 12-8 regular season record, to claim their spot in the playoffs.  Look for the Vikings to be out for revenge on Thursday, making sure that they come out with a big win to start their preseason action leading to their regular season start October 26th against Medicine Hat.

Last season the men’s team found themselves in 6th place in the Northern Division of the ACAC right behind the Griffins. The Vikings gained a wildcard berth in the playoffs, but were unable to get the wins they needed to make it to the quarter-final round of the playoffs. This year the Vikings are looking to make sure they secure a playoff spot, and find themselves in the final four come March. The Vikings finished the 2011-2012 season with a 6-14 record, and will need to find ways to win more games this year to make sure that they get the playoff spot they so desire. Many of the Vikings losses came down to just a few points, a few baskets which would have a painted a very different picture in the ACAC playoffs last season.

Last fall when the Vikings opened their season up against Grant MacEwan the teams split, with the Griffins’ winning the first match and the Vikings taking the second game of that weekend series. That one loss at the beginning of the season saw the Griffins advance to the second round of playoffs and the Vikings falling just short of a quarter-final berth. When head coach Dave Drabiuk was asked what the Vikings would do different this year against the Griffins he had this to say,

“That weekend taught us as a program how important each and every regular season game is in this conference. There is nothing more painful that looking back and saying “what if…”  What will be different in our approach this season? Quite simply the sense of urgency, sense of purpose with which we approach these weekends. As for right now, this Thursday is a great game against a fellow playoff team as an early test and a taste of ACAC competition for our exciting rookies.”

Both the men’s and women will continue the weekend with two fun exhibition games. The Red Deer College Queens and Olds College Broncos will join the Vikings in a fun community outreach game at the Ermineskin Junior Senior High (EJSH) School in Hobbema on Friday in a game organized by the Aboriginal Students Office at the University of Alberta—Augustana. The game is to help share the love of basketball and the opportunities post-secondary education provides to the members of the community. All the money raised will go towards the EJSH School Student Travel Club.

On Saturday the Vikings will face off in a fun match against the Augustana Basketball Alumni.


Posted in Athletics, Basketball Men, Basketball Women. | Permalink

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