UPEI Panthers rookie guard Candace Smith, left, shields the ball from fourth-year guard Danielle MacDonald during Tuesday night's practice.
UPEI heading to Kingston, Ont., to begin pre-season play
The UPEI Panthers women's basketball team hit the road Wednesday for Kingston, Ont.
The Panthers will play their first game of the pre-season Friday against the host Queens Golden Gaels squad at the Tindall Invitational. The Panthers will also play Concordia and Lethbridge during the weekend.
"This is the only tournament where we're going to be playing three games against three teams from three different conferences," coach Greg Gould said. "It gives us a little bit of a measuring stick of how we fit in competition wise."
The team has 10 returnees from last year and seven new players. They will be competing to wear the 12 Panther uniforms when the season begins at home Nov. 8 against Acadia.
"It could change from game to game or weekend to weekend depending on injuries and who happens to be playing well at the time," Gould said.
The second-year Panthers coach likes what he has seen in practice and in a scrimmage on Saturday.
"I was pleased that we certainly looked like we were ahead of this point last year," he said. "(But) until we get to see them in game action it's very difficult to see where they're going to fit in with our team. I think this tournament will help to establish some of that."
The Panthers went 6-14 a year ago to finish sixth in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS). But because last-place UNB was hosting the conference tournament only the top five, plus the host team, made the playoffs. The Panthers will host the conference championship this year, but want to earn their spot.
The team is hosting the Mickey Place tournament Oct. 18 to 20 and then going to Moncton the following weekend for the Don Grant Classic.
Returning Panther Holly Jones is playing both basketball and rugby this season but won't be available to the hoops team this weekend.
Third-year guard Anne Kiberd is also part of the Panthers program this season after transferring from St. F.X. She will be practising with the team, but must sit out this season under Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) transfer rules.
NEED TO KNOW
The following is the UPEI Panthers schedule for the Queens Golden Gaels women’s basketball tournament. All times are Atlantic.
UPEI vs. Queens, 7 p.m.
UPEI vs. Concordia, 3 p.m.
UPEI vs. Lethbridge, 11 a.m.
Katelynn Donahoe, guard
Holly Jones, guard
Jenna Jones, guard
Amy Gough, guard
Danielle MacDonald, guard
Darcy Zinck, guard
Nakita Newman, guard
Tamara Tompkins, guard
Terrilyn Herrick, forward
Laura Power, forward
Candace Smith, guard
Julie Hatcher, guard
Glendeira Smith, guard
Jane McLaughlin, forward
Kiera Rigby, forward
Jessica Patenaude, forward
Elysia Drost, post
Anne Kiberd, guard
Other Panthers varsity action
8:30 p.m. – UPEI at Lakehead*
9 a.m. – UPEI vs. Lee Academy at Holland College*
Noon – UPEI vs. UNB at UNB
5 p.m. – UPEI vs. Acadia at UNB
3 p.m. – Memorial at UPEI
5:15 p.m. – Memorial at UPEI
3 p.m. – UPEI at Acadia
4 p.m. – UPEI at St. F.X.*
8:30 p.m. – UPEI at Lakehead*
9 a.m. – UPEI vs. Dalhousie at UNB
11 a.m. – UPEI vs. Saint Mary's at UNB
2 p.m. – UPEI vs. St. F.X. at UNB
11 a.m. – Memorial at UPEI
1:15 p.m. – Memorial at UPEI
Noon – UPEI at St. F.X.*
* Denotes exhibition game