The VIU Mariners hope home-court advantage will help against the tough Holland Hurricanes today (March 19).
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championships begin this afternoon at Vancouver Island University, and the M’s take the court this evening against the Hurricanes.
Bill McWhinnie, coach of the Mariners, said the opponents are long, athletic, physical, defensive-minded and well-coached.
“We’ve got to be aggressive, we’ve got to attack the basket, we’ve got to be fearless,” he said. “We can’t play soft … because they’ll take it right to us.”
He said the M’s have to take advantage of home court by taking any stress and anxiety and turning that into excitement and motivation.
The Mariners have checked out the game tape on the Hurricanes, but Amanda Tapia, M’s guard, said her team has to be ready for anything the opponent might throw at them.
“We need to definitely limit our turnovers and be ball tough,” she said. “They play tough defence and so we have to take care of the basketball.”
When the Hurricanes have the ball, the M’s need to force them to shoot, said Jenna Carver, VIU forward. Her team will also have to match the opponent’s aggression and effort, she said.
“Working hard on our home court is going to be big,” said Carver. “If we work harder than them, I think we’ll have a good chance, and I know that we’re capable of that.”
GAME ON … The M’s and Hurricanes tip off today at 6 p.m. at the VIU gym. Tickets are $10 or $6 for seniors and students. For a full tournament schedule, please click here … For another article on CCAA women’s basketball nationals, please click here.