VIU Mariners Women’s Basketball Team Aims for National Title on Home Turf

VIU Mariners Women's Basketball

VIU Mariners guard Ranika Guyton and the rest of the women’s basketball team will be vying for the national title this month.
Photo: Vancouver Island University

March 11, 2022 - 10:30am

The national tournament, originally scheduled for 2020 but cancelled due to the pandemic, takes place March 25-27 at VIU.

It’s a championship showdown – two years in the making.

The top female university and college basketball players in Canada will descend on Nanaimo this month for the 2022 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s National Basketball Championship.

From March 25-27, Vancouver Island University (VIU) will host a total of eight teams from across the country: five conference champions, two wildcard teams and the host VIU Mariners. All games will be played in the VIU gymnasium.

The Mariners finished the regular season as the top Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) team, as well as in the country after finishing the regular season undefeated. They took home silver at the recent PACWEST Championships in Abbotsford, after being bested by Okanagan College. The team will be looking to take home the CCAA gold for the first time since 1998.

“Obviously our goal is to win gold, but we’ll take things one game at a time. We will prepare for our first opponent and go from there,” says Mariners women’s basketball head coach Tony Bryce.

And while Bryce calls the PACWEST loss to Okanagan College “heartbreaking,” he says it also feels like it has lessened some of the pressure on the team. That said, he adds that the team’s ultimate goal has not changed. “We have an opportunity to compete for national gold and that is exactly what we intend to do,” he says. “I expect our level of focus on the details in practice will be elevated and I expect us to take this loss and be better from it.”

Bryce is also grateful to the CCAA for its decision to return the tournament to Nanaimo this year, as VIU was originally scheduled to host the 2020 tournament before it was cancelled at the last minute due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I believe it was the right thing to do and we are super excited to not only be in the tournament, but to host,” he says. “I hope it brings some closure to my veteran players – not only those still active, but the ones who graduated and lost the opportunity. I feel we will be ready and represent ourselves, VIU and the community very well.”

VIU Athletics and Recreation Director Danielle Hyde says the host committee has “moved into high gear” and have been working hard since the tournament was given the go-ahead to proceed.

“The committee is extremely excited to welcome the top eight teams from across the country,” she says. “I know that the student-athletes are excited and we can’t wait for the first tip-off of the tournament.”

According to Bryce, athletes aren’t the only people who should be getting excited, as the tournament will be an exciting event for spectators as well.

“The pace and athleticism at this tournament will blow you away,” he says. “The atmosphere will be electric. If you have never been to a game before, this is a great place to start and I would highly recommend people don’t miss out.”

The action gets underway with the first match of the tournament at 1 pm on Friday, March 25. VIU will play its first game at 6 pm that same day. Tickets and passes to the tournament are now on sale through Eventbrite.  A full weekend schedule is available on the CCAA website.

VIU has hosted CCAA national championships five times since 2007: men’s volleyball in 2007, women’s volleyball in 2012, women’s basketball in 2015, badminton in 2016, and men’s soccer in 2017.

-30-

MEDIA CONTACT:

Eric Zimmer, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.618.7296 | EEric.Zimmer@viu.ca I T: @VIUNews


Tags: CCAA | Mariners basketball | Athletics