After a well-deserved month off, ACAC athletes are back and ready for action. The second half of the season has begun, and teams hit the ground running to book their tickets to the postseason. Let’s check in with the NAIT Ooks to see how they performed in their first week back.
It was a weekend of highs and lows for the Ooks, with both men’s and women’s hockey teams in action against the SAIT Trojans. The men’s team started the weekend with an absolute thriller on Friday night. The Ooks got off to a hot start with a 4-1 first period; Eric Lacombe was a big influence, grabbing two of four goals.
SAIT found a way back in the second period by scoring three goals in quick succession. The teams continued trading goals throughout the third period. They ended up in overtime, tied at 6-6, until Lacombe scored his third goal of the night to secure a 7-6 win over the Trojans for NAIT.
However, that overtime heartbreak fueled SAIT to a dominant 7-2 win the next night in Calgary. The men are back in action Wednesday night in a unique game against Korea University.
On the women’s side, the Ooks started 2024 with a 2-1 win at SAIT on Friday. Saturday night brought their first home game after the break. The home advantage proved to be immense for them; the team put up a blistering 70 shots on goal and won the game 4-0. Goalie Kaitlyn Slator also achieved an ACAC record at this game for all-time wins with 47.
The next time you can catch the Ooks women in action is on Friday, January 19 against Medicine Hat College.
The men faced a tough challenge going up against Briercrest College, who are second in the south division. The first four games were split,setting up a decisive fifth game to find a winner. The Ooks stepped up and won 15-13, improving to 7-3 for the season.
The women’s team came out with a dominant 3-0 game victory against Briercrest College, winning the games 25-22, 25-22 and 25-17. After struggling in the first half of the season, this win looks to be a stepping stone for them to make a run in the second half of the season.
Both men’s and women’s volleyball games on Saturday and Sunday this week were postponed due to the weather. The next time you can see them in action is Jan. 19 on the road at the University of Alberta Augustana Vikings. They’ll head home on Jan. 20 for another shot against the Vikings.
Men’s basketball had a rough return to action, dropping their first of two games against first-place Keyano College. After a solid first half, the Ooks would tail off in the second half and end up losing by 31 points, 87-56. Saturday would not prove to be a better day for the Ooks as they lost 80-49, with not a single player registering double-digit points.
The women’s team fared much better than the men’s team in their comeback game against Keyano. A stifling defensive effort led them to a 24-point victory of 57-33 on Friday night. But adversity would hit the following night, as they lost by only seven points, ending the road trip 1-1.
Both women’s and men’s teams will have their first game back at home on Friday night before going on the road to the University of Alberta Augustana on Saturday night.