Sea-Hawks garner CIS medal
by Jeff Green
Memorial captured its first national basketball medal last weekend before a jam-packed crowd in the Field House on the St. John’s campus.
The Women’s Sea-Hawks proudly took bronze at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women’s basketball championships with a 75-60 victory over one of its closest rivals, the Dalhousie Tigers, on Sunday, March 11.
The victory came just one week after the Sea-Hawks claimed the Atlantic title in Halifax.
Memorial hosted the national event which brought teams from all over Canada to the capital city. Thousands of fans including alumni and former players took in games over the weekend at the Field House.
Memorial entered the championship games with a 67-57 victory over York University on Friday, March 9. The following night, the team lost 79-60 to Alberta during the semi-finals.
“Our goal coming in was to get a medal, it’s good to be able to achieve that goal. We were hoping for another colour, but we’ll definitely take it,” said Memorial head coach Doug Partridge.
“It’s all about history, it’s important for our program, for the province. You can’t really make a point in the present about the importance of a bronze medal, but it’s something they will really appreciate when they look back.”
Memorial’s director of athletics, Michelle Healey, was equally impressed by the high-calibre performance of the team. Ms. Healey, a former Sea-Hawks all-star, said she was particularly proud of the amount of support the team got over the weekend.
“We knew well in advance of this tournament that the local community would come out and support this event, so it was not the number of supporters that surprised me, but their level of enthusiasm and cheers probably should be given the MVP award for the weekend,” she said.
“The atmosphere in the Field House throughout the weekend was electric and the CIS is very proud of what we were able to do with this tournament. There were close to 1,000 people at the championship game and that has never happened anywhere else in the country unless the home team has been in the final. I’m really proud of the community for embracing this event, as it has opened a lot of eyes both locally and at the national level.”
Ms. Healey said having Memorial in the national spotlight will elevate the profile of not only the Sea-Hawks, but also Memorial’s Athletics department, the university and this province.
She said hosting such an event wouldn’t be possible without the tremendous support and dedication from organizers and volunteers. She said everybody pulled up their sleeves to help make the event “the best CIS women’s basketball championships ever.
“Again, this speaks to the special type of people that this province has, in that they take extra special pride in ensuring that visitors to our province enjoy their stay,” she added.
The Sea-Hawks bid farewell to one of its best-known players after Sunday’s match-up. Fifth-year student Krista Singleton, who is originally from St. Joseph’s, is set to graduate this year.
The player of the game for Memorial during Sunday’s game was Maegan Seaward, who led with 22 points, while teammate Victoria Thistle had 17 points and Katherine Quackenbush had 16 point.
Simon Fraser won the CIS championships with a 72-68 win over the No. 2-ranked Alberta Pandas.