This past weekend, the Augustana Vikings Women’s Basketball Team competed in the ACAC Championship Tournament in Olds, Alberta. Going into the tournament, the Vikings held a second place ranking with an impressive record of 19-2.
The Vikings headed into the tournament attempting to both improve on their previous season’s Silver Medals and secure a spot in the CCAA National Championships at Champlain College in Quebec.
Quarterfinals vs. SAIT Trojans
Coming off a huge home victory against the Grant MacEwan Griffins, the Vikings were on a roll heading in to the Championships. For their first game, they faced off against the SAIT Trojans in the quarterfinals. The Trojans had an up and down season, but were on their own roll with the additions of some new, but experienced players.
Augustana controlled the first half and was up 44-26. The ability to break the press and wear SAIT down was a key component to their successful first half. SAIT regrouped during half-time and entered the second half much stronger. The combination of a switch to zone defense and hitting three pointers, allowed SAIT to crawl back into the game. However, with Augustana grabbing timely rebounds and hitting high pressure free throws, they were able to secure a 71-66 victory. Kelsey Lund had a game high 13 rebounds and chipped in with 13 points as well. Player of the Game went to Taryn Story who had a game high of 19 points and added 6 rebounds as well.
Semifinals vs. NAIT Ooks
The Vikings and the Ooks faced off the following day for a spot in the Gold Medal Game, as well as a chance to compete in the CCAA Nationals at Champlain College in Quebec. The game was a battle between NAIT’s star player Josephine Peacock and the Augustana Vikings’ Kelsey Lund. Peacock had 19 points and 12 rebounds while Lund had 16 points and 20 rebounds. The two teams did not disappoint by playing arguably the best game thus far in the tournament. No team could push the lead past 8 points and the score at half was 34-31 in favor of the Vikings.
The second half was dead even throughout as both teams matched each other point for point. Second year players Hayley Story and Shea Jose gave the team a boost and contributed with 10 and 4 points respectively. Near the end of the game, clutch free throw shooting by Kari Kubinec and Hayley Story helped secure the game for the Vikings in the fourth quarter. The Vikings ended up winning 71-69 with Player of the Game going to Kelsey Lund. However, what mattered most to Lund and the Vikings was that they secured a spot in Nationals.
Finals vs Grant MacEwan Griffins
Already guaranteed a spot at Nationals, the Vikings took on the Grant MacEwan Griffins in the Gold Medal Game on Sunday to battle for title of ACAC Women’s Basketball Champions. The Vikings got off to a quick start and took a quick 21-9 lead. Grant MacEwan called a timeout and tried to regain focus on poise. They went to their ACAC player of the year in Megan Wood who was a dominant force in the post and had her way inside with the Vikings bigs. The Griffins crawled back into the game and an exciting first half ended 36-32 for the Vikings.
The second half was a dominant performance by Grant MacEwan. They amped up their defense and executed at a very high level offensively. Fifth year point guard Bayan Kurd played with poise and made key shots in the second half. For the Vikings, Kari Kubinec had her best game of the tournament, shooting 4 for 8 from behind the arc and finishing with 23 points. Kubinec kept her team in the game with clutch shots and timely steals. Unfortunately for the Vikings and their fans, the Vikings fell to the Griffins 74-65. Lund and Kubinec both were named tournament All-Stars for the efforts throughout the tournament. The Vikings now have their sights focused on Quebec and Nationals where they will compete against the best teams in the Nation!
Vikings All Stars
In addition to earning Silver Medals, three Vikings players were recognized as Tournament All-Stars. Kari Kubinec and Taryn Story were both named Second-Team All-Stars. Kubinec contributed 45 points, 15 rebounds, and 4 steals over the weekend and Story added her own 41 points, 14 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. Kelsey Lund was named to the First-Team Tournament All-Star roster with 44 points, 4 steals, 3 blocked shots, and an outstanding 42 rebounds throughout the tournament.
Congratulations to all of our Vikings and thanks to our fans!