Cascades Women In Final Four

By March 6, 2014Sports, Sports News

The Canada West women’s basketball Final Four tournament takes place this weekend, as the #3 Alberta Pandas host the #4 Regina Cougars,#5 Fraser Valley Cascades and #6 Saskatchewan Huskies.

Compiled by Matt Gutsch, Golden Bears & Pandas Communications. The Final Four will be played at the Saville Community Sports Centre, as well as streamed, in high definition, on


Only the top two teams from Canada West are guaranteed to advance to the CIS Final 8 tournament, March 14-16 in Windsor, although there is also one “wild card” berth available nationally.



Head Coach: Al Tuchscherer (12th season)

Regular season record: 17-5

Regular season standing: 1st in Pacific Division

Playoff record to date: 2-0

Season overall record: 19-5

Season record vs. final / tournament teams: 0-1 against Alberta, 0-1 against Sask, 0-1 against Regina (breakdown by school)

Best Top 10 ranking this season # 3rd (November 12 & November 19)

Key players: Aieisha Luyken, Sarah Wierks, Kayli Sartori

Canada West championships won: 0

Last Canada West championship: N/A

CIS championships won: 0


ABBOTSFORD, BC – The Cascades have been to the Canada West Final Four in each of the last four seasons, and are hoping that, as the fourth seed, this fortuitous series of fours means that fourth time is indeed the charm for the program. Coming off a two-game sweep of the University of Calgary Dinos in last weekend’s quarter-final series, the Cascades will face the University of Alberta Pandas in the semi-finals.


Equipped with the third-highest scoring offense in the conference (70.2 ppg) and the stingiest defense (allowing an average of only 53.3 ppg), the Cascades are looking to grab an upset this weekend. They are led by fifth-year guard Aieisha Luyken, fourth-year forward Sarah Wierks, and third-year forward Kayli Sartori, who together average 33 points per game for UFV.  The Cascades have four graduating seniors on the roster, all of whom remember last year’s eight place finish at CIS Nationals, and are hoping for a second chance at the big tournament.


The Cascades last played the Pandas on November 22, 2013, losing 73-61 (UFV’s first loss of the season). Both teams have played a lot of basketball since then, and Friday’s game will be a rigorous test of both squads’ resolve.



Head Coach: Scott Edwards (8th season)

Regular season record: 20-2

Regular season standing: 1st / Prairie Division

Playoff record to date: 2-0

Season overall record: 32-4

Season record vs. final / tournament teams: 1-1 vs. Regina, 2-0 vs. Saskathchewan, 1-0 vs. Fraser Valley

Best Top 10 ranking this season #2 (1 time)

Key players: Andria Carlyon, Kendra Asleson, Saskia Van Ginhoven, Jessilyn Fairbanks, Renee Byrne

Canada West championships won: 0

Last Canada West championship: N/A

CIS championships won: 1


EDMONTON – The Pandas are not only hosting the first Final Four in program history, but are also vying for the first Canada West title in team history. Powered by an incredibly deep and tenacious line-up, and guided by Canada West Coach of the Year Scott Edwards, the Pandas are formidable in CIS.


The Pandas are fourth in Canada West scoring, averaging 69.3 points per game, but they give up the second fewest against in the conference, at just 54.6 points per game. During their two-game sweep of the Thompson Rivers Wolfpack last weekend, however, the Pandas unloaded when they outscored TRU 176-92 in the two games.


Fifth-year forward Andria Carlyon, who was named a Canada West first team all-star this season, led Alberta in points, rebounds and steals during the regular season, while Kendra Asleson and Saskia Van Ginhoven also averaged doubled-digits in scoring during conference play.


Carlyon, Asleson and Van Ginhoven, along with Sally Hillier, Jessilyn Fairbanks, Renee Byrne and Kelly Lyons have all scored 10 points or more for the Pandas in the post-season so far.



Head Coach: Lisa Thomaidis (15th season)

Regular season record: 17-5

Regular season standing: 3rd / Prairie Division

Playoff record to date: 2-1

Season overall record: 25-7 (including 1-0 vs. ACAC Opponent)

Season record vs. final / tournament teams: 1-1 vs. Regina, 0-2 vs. Alberta, 1-0 vs. Fraser Valley

Best Top 10 ranking this season #4 (4 times)

Key players: Dalyce Emmerson, Kiera Lyons, Kabree Howard, Kelsey Trulsrud

Canada West championships won: 2

Last Canada West championship: 2011

CIS championships won: 0


SASKATOON – This is the Huskies’ fifth appearance at the Canada West Championship in six seasons. Saskatchewan has been a mainstay in the CIS Top 10 this season being ranked in every poll. The season included an eight-game conference winning streak and a perfect 10-0 record on home court.


Saskatchewan needed a come-from-behind series victory in their Canada West quarter-final series against the UBC Thunderbirds after losing the opening game.


The Huskies will face provincial rivals the Regina Cougars in the Canada West semifinal. The two programs split the season series in 2013-14. Regina took the first meeting of the season 73-52, while Saskatchewan took the second game 56-43. Both games were in Regina in November. Since 2006-07, the Huskies are 7-5 against the Cougars in conference and playoff competition. The teams have met twice in the Canada West Final Four and are even at 1-1.


Saskatchewan was 1-0 against the tournament’s fourth seeded Fraser Valley Cascades and 0-2 against the top seeded Alberta Pandas, with one of those losses coming in overtime.


Dalyce Emmerson was the conferences second leading scorer with 19.2 points per game and leads the CIS in blocks with 3.3 per game and is second in rebounding with 11.6 per contest.




Head Coach: Dave Taylor (8th season)

Regular season record: 20-2

Regular season standing: 2nd place, Prairie Division

Playoff record to date: 2-0

Season overall record: 29-4

Season record vs. Final Four teams: 3-2 (1-1 vs. Alberta, 1-1 vs. Saskatchewan, 1-0 vs. UFV)

Best Top 10 ranking this season: #4

Key players: Madi Docherty, Charlotte Kot, Janine Guijt, Katie Polischuk

Canada West championships won: 2

Last Canada West championship: 2013

CIS championships won: 1 (2001)


REGINA – The Cougars haven’t lost since mid-November and have won 21 straight games including three at a non-conference tournament and two over Victoria two weekends ago in the Canada West quarterfinals, but they’ll have to defend last year’s conference championship without the services of their leading scorer.


Nicole Clarke, who shot an incredible 46.2% from three-point range and averaged 17.6 points per game this season in what will be her only season at the U of R, hasn’t played for almost a month and is now expected to be gone for the rest of the year.


But the deep Cougars have won four straight without Clarke, and the list of players that have stepped up in her absence is led by Madi Docherty. The third-year guard was averaging four points per game with Clarke in the lineup as her role was primarily as a distributor, but has averaged 15 and is shooting a Clarke-esque 43% from three-point land in the four games since.


Also in head coach Dave Taylor’s starting five is another dangerous perimeter threat in second-year wing Katie Polischuk, who along with Clarke and Manitoba’s Robyn Eyer were the only three players in the conference to shoot over 40% from downtown. Fourth-year post Jennilea Coppola (second in the conference in blocked shots), second-year forward Charlotte Kot (hit 58.3% of her two-point attempts in conference play), and third-year guard Kehlsie Crone (another perimeter threat with 19 triples on the season) round out the starting five.


Expect veteran Megan Chamberlin, second-year post Alyssia Kajati, and rookie Janine Guijt to play significant roles off the bench for the Cougars, who play Saskatchewan on Friday for an automatic berth to the 2014 CIS Championship and the right to advance to Saturday’s Canada West championship game.


About Canada West Universities Athletic Association

Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport, winning 100 CIS national titles over the last 10 seasons. Comprised of 17 schools from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada West produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. / / @cwuaa on Twitter


A proud member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS).

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