By Alex Galenza
The NAIT Ooks women’s basketball team punched their ticket to Nationals at the ACAC Women’s Basketball Final Four Championship last weekend. NAIT went into the Championship weekend as the underdog, but they came out victorious and earned their spot to compete on the national stage.
NAIT finished third in the standings and upset the second-place Keyano Huskies in the quarterfinals to enter the final four championships. Their hot streak got hotter as they defeated the first-place team in the south, St. Mary’s University. In the battle of the best semi-final, the Ooks rose to the challenge and beat the Lightning 67-60, causing the biggest upset this season. The semi-final win was enough for the team to punch their ticket to the CCAA Nationals. This season, the ACAC has a wild card spot in women’s basketball, so both one and two play at the CCAA Nationals.
Although they were already guaranteed a spot at Nationals, the Ooks left their heart on the court in the gold medal match against the undefeated Lakeland Rustlers. After a hard-fought game and an unfortunate loss, the team came out with an outstanding ACAC Women’s Basketball silver medal.
Head Coach Todd Warnick says, “it feels like a great accomplishment for a great group of young women who learned and competed together through a very unique season in the ACAC.”
The NAIT Ooks women’s team caught a hot streak at the end of the season; Warnick says, “we are still finding ways to improve and learn from the different challenges each game presents.”
The CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship will take place at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC, from March 25 to 27.