VIU Mariners Women’s Basketball in season play versus Camosun College.
Photo by Northfield Photography
The top women’s university and college basketball players from across the country will be giving it their all in high-paced action at the 2020 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s
National Basketball Championship hosted at Vancouver Island University (VIU) March 18 - 22.
VIU Mariners women are going into the competition as this year’s Pacific Western Athletic Association (PACWEST) BC champions with a 17-1 record and
will be looking to earn a national gold medal for the first time since 1998. The women won provincial gold medals in 2013, 2016 and 2019 and are currently ranked the No. 2 team in the country behind Dawson College out of Quebec.
“It's hard to
predict who will come out on top at this year’s tournament,” says Tony Bryce, VIU Mariner’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach, and 2020 PACWEST Coach of the Year. “We will have the top eight teams from across the country coming
to Nanaimo and they rarely, if ever, get a chance to see each other until this event. From being there last year, I feel we are right there, and have as good a chance as anyone of winning it all. It should be exciting to see the matchups and battles over the
The action gets under way Thursday at 1 pm for the quarter-final matchups with the Lakeland Rustlers taking on the Capilano Blues. The Mariners play their first game at 6 pm Thursday and have the home court advantage
after a fourth place finish last year.
“For us, it's just about trusting our preparation and playing our game,” says Bryce. “Last year heading to Quebec, I felt perhaps there was a bit of doubt. There is no doubt anymore, we
know we belong, and so we will be confident and ready to get after it.”
Since 2007, VIU has hosted CCAA National Championships on five occasions: men’s volleyball in 2007, women’s volleyball in 2012, women’s basketball
in 2015, badminton in 2016 and men’s soccer in 2017.
“Vancouver Island University is honoured to be hosting this tournament and to have the opportunity to showcase both our campus and our varsity athletics program,” says Dr. Deb Saucier,
VIU President and Vice-Chancellor. “It is no easy feat to maintain a good academic standing while being a member of a varsity team that is excelling at the national level, in addition to balancing other commitments. All of the competing athletes should
be incredibly proud of their accomplishments.”
All games will take place in the VIU gymnasium, which was resurfaced in the summer of 2019.
“We are focused on delivering the best experience for all the student-athletes,
coaches and fans at this tournament,” says Bryce. “Fans will see the incredible athleticism and talent that these young women possess. At the National level, the pace and intensity is ramped up to another level and you can truly feel it in the
gym. Hoping hoops fans young and old come and take in the excitement and support your local Mariners.”
The tournament schedule can be found on the CCAA website. The games
will be live streamed on https://portal.stretchinternet.com/ccaasportsacsc/#.
PWST Champions – Mariners, Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo,
ACAA Champions - Mount Mystics, Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
OCAA Champions – Fanshawe Falcons, Fanshawe College, London, Ontario
ACAC Champions – Lakeland Rustlers, Lakeland College, Vermillion, Alberta
RSEQ Champions – Dynamiques, Cégep de Sainte-Foy, Sainte-Foy, Quebec
BC PWST Host – Capilano Blues, Capilano University, North Vancouver
ACAC Wildcard – Keyano Huskies, Keyano College, Fort McMurray, Alberta
Wildcard - Dawson College Blues, Dawson College, Montreal, Quebec