Holland College team going into opening game of national tournament feeling relaxed, confident
The Holland College Hurricanes are a loose team ready to play in the college's first national women's basketball championship.
The Hurricanes finished 19-2 during the regular season and finishing second at the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) championships.
The sixth seed meets the third-ranked Igonquin Thunder today at 7:30 p.m. at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships in St-Lambert, Que.
"We feel like we're the underdogs," said second-year guard Steph Hiltz. "We don't really have anything on our shoulders. We're just going to enjoy the experience and try and bring back some hardware."
There are only a handful of players back from last year's squad. Hiltz credited coach Mike Connolly with recruiting talented players to make the team successful.
Hiltz said it took some time early in the season to mesh, but the team is strong and everyone has bought into their roles.
"We're all one team, one family, it's a scary thing," she said.
The team left Charlottetown early Tuesday morning and drove the 12 hours to Quebec.
"We're really excited about the opportunity to represent our school at nationals - the first time ever for this program," Connolly said. "We're coming in as a wildcard with not a lot of pressure on us. We're just going to go, have some fun and lay it out on the court."
The team is not super deep, so it knows it has to stay out of foul trouble and take care of the basketball.
It does have three big forwards, Ashley Moss, Jenea Barrett and Katiesha Brissett, that can cause matchup troubles. Add in two talented ball handlers in Hiltz and Jazlin Barker, the ACAA rookie of the year, and the team has the potential to make some noise this week.
While most are new to the Hurricanes and the ACAA, the players have lots of experience.
"They're a very mature group," Connolly said. "I think they'll respond very well to the competitive situation at the nationals."
When They Play
Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association women's basketball championship at Champlain College St-Lambert in St-Lambert, Que. All times ADT.
Game 1 - MacEwan Griffins (4) vs. Quest Kermodes (5), 2 p.m.
Game 2 - Nomades de Montmorency (1) vs. Augustana Vikings (8), 4 p.m.
Game 3 - lgonquin Thunder (3) vs. Holland Hurricanes (6), 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 - St. Thomas Tommies (2) vs. Champlain St-Lambert Cavaliers (7), 9:30 p.m.
Game 5 - Losers of game 1 and 2, 2 p.m.
Game 6 - Losers of game 3 and 4, 4 pm.
Game 7 - Winners of game 1 and 2 (semifinal), 7:30 p.m.
Game 8 - Winners of game 3 and 4 (semifinal), 9:30 p.m.
Game 9 - Losers of game 7 and Winners of game 6, 11 a.m.
Game 10 - Losers of game 8 vs. Winners of game 5, 1 p.m.
Game 11 - Losers of game 5 and 6 (seventh/eighth place), 3 p.m.
Game 12 - Winners of game 9 and 10 (bronze medal), 7:30 p.m.
Game 13 - Winners of game 7 and 8 (gold medal), 9:30 p.m.
Jenea Barrett, 15.5
Steph Hiltz, 12.7
Jazlin Barker, 12.5
Ashley Moss, 11.7
Katiesha Brissett, 7.9
Menderia Smith, 5.3
Kelsey Dixon, 4.5
Birttany MacLean, 2.9
Nakissa Koomalsingh, 2.5
Lisa Edwards, 2.5
Dale Murray, 1.8
Aimee Gillis, 1.5
Source - www.ccaa.ca