Women’s basketball enter holiday break with confidence

Dalhousie’s women’s basketball team, similarly to the men’s squad, have started their season 3-1, which is the second best record in the AUS currently.

But third-year Ainsley MacIntyre doesn’t want to stop there. She says this year provides the opportunity for the Tigers to win their first championship since 2001.

“Personally, it’s to be in the AUS championships,” said MacIntyre in regards to the team’s overall expectations this season. “That’s where we want to be.”

The Tigers started the season with two-straight wins at home over the UPEI Panthers. They kept their winning streak alive the next weekend in Newfoundland against Memorial, winning 80-74 in overtime. They were unable to make it four-straight, though, as they lost the next day to the Seahawks 68-57. MacIntyre, a forward from Sydney, N.S., says the team is even stronger this year due to the addition of strong recruits and fellow team members reaching the prime of their university basketball careers. However, she also says this comes with added pressure.

“I think personally I have to set expectations for the first and second years,” said MacIntyre. “Whether it’s on the court, in the classroom or as a defensive intense player.”

Anna Stammberger will once again lead the women’s team. This is her sixth year as head coach with the Tigers. MacIntyre, who was previously coached by Stammberger on the U17 provincial team, says having experience under Stammberger’s leadership was a big reason behind her becoming a Tiger.

“She’s all about basketball,” she said. “We’re always very involved. She’s very into volunteering and doing things outside of basketball, but she definitely knows that school comes first.”

MacIntyre also complimented her coach’s ability to make difficult decisions in critical game-time situations.

“She’s just as intense in practices as she is in games. I think that especially this year, we have a deep bench and she expects us to do well.”

The majority of the women’s basketball team had the opportunity to compete in Germany before the season began. MacIntyre said it was a not only an experience like none other, but an added advantage heading into the AUS regular season.

“You’re playing a different style of play,” she said. “These girls, they’re not necessarily very small so it was definitely a challenge to play girls that are bigger than you and more experienced.”

The Tigers have two more tests ahead of them before the holiday break. They take on the Huskies in a four-point-game Nov. 21, followed by the Axewomen the next day.

MacIntyre said her team is ready for the task at hand.

“I think everyone’s ready,” she said. “The practices this year are just better in intensity and competition-wise than it’s ever been.”

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Graeme Benjamin

Graeme is the Gazette's Sports Editor. He was the Assistant Sports Editor for Volume 145.

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