Date Posted: August 29, 2011
Print Edition: August 25, 2011
Last year’s women’s basketball team was hugely successful. For the first season in program history, the team won a spot in the Canada West Final Four. While that tournament ended in defeat on the court for our women, it signified long-term potential; nine of the 11 members on last year’s team were in their first or second year, and this year’s rookies are showing great potential. The team’s off-season training was kicked off with a joint trip to Antigua with Joanna Shepphard’s annual Champions for Health program. There, they trained and volunteered, typically working twice a day with each other and the community. All signs point towards this being a team that we can be proud of both on and off the court – be ready to see great things from this group. The Cascade spoke with Head Coach Al Tuchscherer about the upcoming season.
What was your personal highlight from last season?
It’s always rewarding to see a team come together and realize their potential – for me that’s really a key indicator of a successful season.
What can the team learn from last year?
They learned how to win, how to be successful on the road, how to execute a game plan – all basic things, but they are things that need to be experienced at the next level.
How can you build on last season?
We already have been – the girls have worked hard in the off-season. Last year was great, but they recognized that the level they were at won’t get them any farther than they were last year. They attacked the off-season and I believe they are quite a bit better than they were last season.
What does a successful season look like this year?
Like I said earlier, it’s maximizing our potential – that’s always the objective.
Any specific team goals?
It’s really all about the process – and we are heavily engaged in that already, doing everything we can to make sure we are prepared for each competition. When you focus on that, winning becomes the by-product.
Any new recruits or rookies that you are particularly excited about?
Really excited about our freshmen – we have three girls from the AAA provincial champions WJ Mouat: Kayli Sartori, Katie Brink and Jaslyen Singh. They are three extremely talented girls and have the potential to help our team immediately. Kayli being the provincial MVP.
How can students at UFV support the team?
It’s fantastic when we have the student body out supporting our teams and we really appreciate that. We also have a number of community service initiatives throughout the year that we would be grateful for their support – Shoot for the Cure is our breast cancer drive and at Christmas time we do a food drive in support of the Abbotsford food bank.