The Memorial Sea-Hawks women's basketball team welcome three non-conference teams to town this weekend for the 2nd Annual Marie's Mini Mart Fall Classic.
Visiting teams include the Alberta Pandas and Winnipeg Wesmen from the Canada West conference, and the Ryerson Rams from the OUA. Winnipeg finished the 2016-17 season with an 18-2 record, tops in the conference, while Alberta finished one game back at 17-3. The Wesmen defeated the Pandas to finish third in Canada West. Ryerson finished last season with a 13-6 record and lost in the OUA quarterfinal to Windsor.
The Sea-Hawks finished last season with an 11-9 record, good enough for 4th in the AUS and lost in the quarterfinal to the eventual champions, Cape Breton, 55-53 in a hard-fought contest.
This weekend will be the first game action of the preseason for the Sea-Hawks and Head Coach Mark English is looking forward to seeing his team hit the court against some stiff competition.
"We are really excited to get our preseason going this Thursday and to be able to start at home is a nice touch. We have put in a solid month and half of work and the team is eager to get on the court and put it all together. We are hoping to get a sense of where we are and what we need to work on, after this weekend. The preseason is a time to try different things and different line ups to see what works well. We have some very good competition coming and I feel if we play hard on defense, take care of the glass, and play unselfish, we have a great chance to be successful."
Memorial will once again be led by Sydney Stewart (Sarnia, ON) who was a 1st Team AUS All-Star selection last season. She finished the year as the team leader in points per game (15.6), assists per game (3.0), and steals per game (2.5). Stewart enters her fourth year as a Sea-Hawk and will no doubt be relied upon to contribute in similar ways again this season.
"Receiving an AUS All-Star award was a great accomplishment for me and I am incredibly humbled by it. Going into this season after receiving something like that only pushes me to be a better player and to hopefully go beyond what I've done before."
The Sea-Hawks will once again play a fast-paced style and Stewart believes the hard work put forth by the team this summer will benefit them this season.
"What we lack in size, we more than make up for with how aggressive and fast-paced we are. The whole team is just incredibly excited to show off all their hard work from the summer and we'll only improve as the year goes on."
The tournament kicks off on Thursday night from the Old MUN Gym with Winnipeg and Ryerson hitting the court at 6pm, followed by the Sea-Hawks and Alberta Pandas tipping off at 8pm. Games continue on Friday and Saturday at The Field House.
Women's Basketball – Marie's Mini Mart Fall Classic
Thursday, October 12th (Old MUN Gym)
Winnipeg Wesmen vs Ryerson Rams - 6 PM
Alberta Pandas vs Memorial University Sea-Hawks - 8 PM
Friday, October 13th (Field House)
Winnipeg Wesmen vs Alberta Pandas - 6 PM
Ryerson Rams vs Memorial University Sea-Hawks - 8 PM
Saturday, October 14th (Field House)
Ryerson Rams vs Alberta Pandas - 4 PM
Winnipeg vs Memorial University Sea-Hawks - 6 PM