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UFV Women’s basketball team sets sights on National finals

Al Tuchscherer is starting his ninth year as head coach of the UFV woman’s basketball program. Last year the team partook in the inaugural CIS Regional Tournament in Fredericton, NB. After an improvement by 10 wins last season, Al Tuchscherer and his team are looking forward to what this coming season will bring.

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By Taylor Johnson (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: September 19, 2012

Al Tuchscherer is starting his ninth year as head coach of the UFV woman’s basketball program. Last year the team partook in the inaugural CIS Regional Tournament in Fredericton, NB. After an improvement by 10 wins last season, Al Tuchscherer and his team are looking forward to what this coming season will bring.

How has training been going over the summer?

It’s been going really well, lots of dedication from the girls.

Any special stories to relate?

No nothing out of the ordinary. We played NCAA [teams] which was a good way to know where we were at. There was lots of hard work and conditioning, nothing too exciting.

Could you describe the team’s training regimen?

Well our practices are pretty technical; we will go over our different systems, our offence and defence systems. We will go over a little bit of drill work, but honestly there’s not a whole lot with that. The girls need to get into the gym and do that stuff on their own. Outside of the gym they’re expected to get their shot ups and practice the things we don’t have time in practice for. Through the summer they are hitting conditioning and strengthening programs three to four days a week. Starting last week they’re two to three days in the weight room going through their program there.

Have you had any new acquisitions over the summer? How will they effect the composition of the team?

Yeah for sure, we had two players that sat out last year because of injury, Tessa Hart and Katie Brink. We’re really looking forward to having them back into the line-up.  Katie has really added to our practices which is something we missed last year, she is an intense sort of player. We are excited about her. Tessa Hart took a year off because of a knee issue but it looks like she’s ready to go again. She was a huge part of our team a couple years ago. We also have two new high school kids coming in, Shayna Litman and Jessica Collins. They are both super eager to get going. I think Shayna has something we missed a little bit last year, with the grit and power she brings to the team.

What are your expectations for this season?

The core of this team has been together for a number of years now. Four seasons ago we brought them in and there were eight rookies that year. We kind of built the team around that group, so it has been a kind of evolution now moving into our fourth year. We made the Canada West Final the last two years and we made Nationals the last two years as well. Our expectations are that we’re going to be competitive with any team in the country this year. We expect to be there at the end.

With your core group leaving in the next year what are your plans for the team?

Well they are eligible for five years with the team. So they have one more year after this. We have always been a relatively young team for the last couple years, in their second and third year and that is pretty young in Canada West. We’re moving into our fourth and next year into our fifth year so we are going to be a pretty veteran team these next couple years. I am excited to see how that all comes together. We have 14 girls on our roster so we have a good balance. The fourth-year kids, when they leave, will be a huge change to the team; they are kind of our leadership right now. We have some nice kids coming in behind them, that’s for sure.

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