2015 marks the first time that the ACAA basketball champions have been held at UNB Saint John since 2005 when the women’s Seawolves team won their first and only basketball championship.
Teams from across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are descending upon UNB Saint John this weekend, March 6th-8th. From New Brunswick, UNB Saint John, St. Thomas, Crandall and Mount Allison. From Prince Edward Island, Holland College and the lone Nova Scotia team is Mount Saint Vincent.
While both women’s and men’s Seawolves basketball teams finished in last place in the ACAA, new league regulations allow for championship host teams to compete in the championships.
This new regulation, provides the Seawolves with the opportunity to grow, gain experience, and possibly upset a few teams along the way.
Nick Huggard, a leader for the Seawolves, commented on the men’s team progress over this season, saying it “was a huge step in the right direction for us”.
“Our record might not reflect that, but we have been much more competitive.”
Obviously, it is a big bonus for the Seawolves to end the season by competing in the playoffs, and Huggard says that this weekend “is huge for all our young players to experience and just be in that atmosphere – it will only make us better for next year.”
David Munro, Athletics Director at UNB Saint John, said that the Seawolves hosting the basketball championships this year is special for two reasons.
“2015 marks the ten year anniversary of the Seawolves last and only basketball championship.”
Munro said that eight players from 2005’s championship team will be present at Friday night’s tournament banquet.
Secondly, Munro advocated for UNB Saint John to host this year’s championship because the campus itself is celebrating a special anniversary – 50 years in Saint John.
Natasha Kelly, Varsity Coordinator, organized the championships, and said that this experience will benefit our teams for next season.
“It will help our teams be ready to see what is needed to win a championship.”
Munro added that this weekend is also a good opportunity as it only takes one win to advance to the next round. He says that “teams bring a different type of game to playoffs,” and this gives the Seawolves the opportunity to do the same.
Second year player for the women’s Seawolves, Jenna Deighan said that her team is looking to upset MSVU in their first game Friday at 11:00am:
“We’ve been close all season but haven’t been able to pull it off. Losing Rachel [Jefferson] to a broken wrist is a devastating loss, but it gives room to other players to be able to step up and show what they’ve got.”
Munro echoed Deighan’s statement by adding, “it’s a good opportunity to gauge where we [Seawolves] are going into next year.”
The women’s Seawolves play the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics at 11:00am on Friday, while the men’s Seawolves play the Crandall University Chargers at 5:00pm the same day.
Keep posted to The Baron’s website Friday as the annual ACAA award winners will be announced.
The 2014-15 ACAA Basketball Championships will end on Sunday with championship games in the afternoon. All games can be watched online live for free at www.acaatv.ca