Forward Marissa Dheensaw of Saanich is part of the UVic Vikes core that will lead the team in 2017-18. The first 500 fans to Saturday’s 5 p.m. game get a poster, which the Vikes players will sign following each game (men play at 7 p.m.). APShutter.com

Vikes tip-off a new basketball season Friday at UVic

Saturday night is Poster Night, first 500 fans get signed posters

It’s a new season and a new look for the UVic Vikes women’s basketball team as they hit the court for their season opener this weekend.

The Vikes host UBC-Okanagan Heat Friday (Oct. 27), with the women at 6 p.m. followed by the men at 8 p.m., then again Saturday at 5 and 7 p.m.

Saturday is Poster Night, as the first 500 fans will get a Vikes team poster from Big Wheel Burger and the Saanich News. Entry is free for fans under-18 who wear a jersey, courtesy of the Golf For Kids charity initiative. The Vikes will be available to sign the posters 10 minutes after each game.

After hosting the U Sports women’s national championship in the spring, the Vikes are itching to get back on the court, especially after an abbreviated preseason in which they played just four games, said third-year forward Marissa Dheensaw, a 2015 Claremont grad.

“It’s exciting to finally play, it feels like we haven’t gotten started yet,” said Dheensaw. “Last year we started preseason in mid-August, so we’ve been looking forward to this.”

On paper, the Vikes are the favourite this weekend, having finished with a 12-8 record in the Canada West last year. Compare that to the Heat, which won just four of 20 games.

However, the Vikes won just one of their preseason games, and are a new team having graduated Jenna Bugiardini, who played 33 minutes per game, led the Canada West in rebounds averaging 9.9 per game and was eighth in Canada West scoring, averaging 16 points per game.

If there’s a positive to losing standout Bugiardini it’s that the leadership core of the Vikes will be around for a while. There are no fifth-year players. Fourth-year Amira Giannattasio, who averaged 14 points a game last year, will lead the team with fellow fourth-years Kristy Gallagher and Paige Thomson.

Dheensaw, who already averaged upwards of 28 minutes, will also take on a more prominent role. She worked to strengthen her offensive range throughout the summer and is hoping to be more of a threat on offence this year.

“This happened in my first year as well, we had no fifth-years and it worked in our favour,” Dheensaw said. “We got to build as a team and work with the same team next year [without losing anyone].”

Tickets are available at govikesgo.com/tickets.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates 20th anniversary

Norman Nelson founded the orchestra in 1997

High winds cancel slew of BC Ferries sailings

Travel to and from Victoria and Vancouver as well as Northern Gulf Islands affected

Three Sooke students awarded scholarships

Ike Barber Transfer Scholarship program awarded annually to undergraduate students

Sooke talk focuses on risk of nuclear war

Discussion and talk held on Nov. 30

Quick-thinking residents help contain fire in Colwood

Department says fire would have been worse if not for actions of tenant and neighbour

VIDEO: Rare comic showing Superman’s 1st appearance to be auctioned

The 1938 comic features Superman hoisting a car over his head

Naked man arrested in Nanaimo, provided with pants

Suspect arrested for causing disturbance Nov. 13 near Bowen and Northfield roads

‘An officer and a gentleman’: Const. John Davidson is laid to rest

Thousands attend memorial service for slain Abbotsford Police officer

VIDEO: Coquihalla closed both directions near Merritt

Detours are available via Hwy. 8 and Hwy. 1

VIDEO: The Last Jedi is going to be the longest ‘Star Wars’ movie yet

Newest movie in the franchise will beat Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week.

PHOTOS: Procession and funeral for Const. John Davidson

Thousands attended celebration of life for Abbotsford police officer

B.C. Liberal leadership candidates debate different paths for party

Third debate held Sunday, Nov. 19 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Saanich police officer wins View Royal byelection

The day planner of a Saanich police officer suddenly got a lot… Continue reading

Most Read