The Concordia Women’s Curling team made Thunder Athletics history this past weekend, bringing home a CCAA National Silver Medal. Overall, the Thunder Women’s Curling team “had a blast” at the 2017 CCAA National Curling Championships which were hosted by the ACAC’s Augustana Vikings in Camrose. The woman started off the competition on Wednesday, March 23rd winning their first 2 games 6-2 vs the Augustana Vikings and 3-2 over the Red Deer Queens. After attending the National Championship banquet on Wednesday evening, the ladies started off their second day with 2 tough games, losing 10-8 to the Lakeland Rustlers and 7-6 to the OCAA’s Niagara Knights. However the Thunder ended the day on a positive note, posting a solid 7-4 victory over the the Humber Hawks. On Day 3 of the competition, the Thunder knew they needed to win to clinch a spot in the playoffs. In their first match up of the day, the Thunder came out with a bang and beat the NAIT Ooks 9-4. The final game of the round robin portion of the tournament saw the Thunder go up against the Fanshawe Falcons who were undefeated with a 6-0 record. The girls were ready to play this very impressive team and won a hard fought battle 7-5, finishing with a 5-2 record and 2nd place in the standings. Saturday was the double-header playoff finale and Concordia matched up with the NAIT Ooks in the first playoff round. The girls came to play as they beat NAIT once again 8-7 to move on to the Gold Medal game.
The Gold Medal tilt put the Thunder face-to-face once again with the Red Deer College Queens. RDC were one of the toughest teams the Thunder had to compete against during regional play all year. Both teams were at the top of their respective games and the decision came right down to Concordia’s very last stone in the 10th end. The Thunder needed to bump Red Deer’s rock out of the house to force a hard shot on the opposing Skip. Sadly, the rock was just a little too light and it gave Red Deer the win and Concordia National Silver. Head Coach Dylan Theroux had this to say about his team’s remarkable achievement. “Being (that this is) the first time that Concordia has ever sent a Curling team to Nationals, this (outcome) wasn’t too bad! The girls played very well this week. They came to compete and played every game as hard as they could. Our goal at the start of the year was to perform and compete to the best of our abilities and I would say we did just that. They deserve this medal and worked extremely hard to get it. Next year, they’ll be aiming to get Gold at this National event. I couldn’t be happier to be their Coach. I enjoyed every minute of practice and competition even though they stressed me out at some points,” chuckled Theroux. “I am excited to see what these athletes can achieve next year as they build and mold their skills to perform at the higher level.”
Later on he said he was very happy to see his Mixed team drive all the way to support their fellow athletes. “These kids became great friends, being able to practice and play beside each other all year around. They will forever be Thunder Buddies as they move on in their lives.” Theroux concluded his comments stating “this is just the beginning of a new era where Concordia will be a top competitor at the national level for all who play them. I want to keep the bar set high for next year as Concordia Curlers will be a force to be reckoned with.” Theroux is starting to look for competitive curlers for next year’s competition. His aim is to have a full Women’s and Men’s team and if there is enough interest, a Mixed team as well.
Congratulations to Spare Brooke Gelasco, Lead Madysan Theroux, Second Jessica Panchyshyn, Third Adrienne Maschmeyer and Skip Veronica Maschmeyer on being this season’s Canadian Collegiate Silver Medalists!
The Thunder Women’s Curling team’s Adrienne Maschmeyer was named the All-Star ‘Third’ at this past weekend’s 2016-17 CCAA National Curling Championships. Maschmeyer was selected as the top player in the Third position over 8 other candidates from across the ACAC and the OCAA.
Here is this week’s recap of the Weekly Athletics Newsletter. Please click on the title bylines below to open each complete article on the Athletics website.
Six members of the Concordia Thunder Badminton team made the trek out to Seneca College in Toronto last week to compete in the 2016-17 CCAA National Badminton Championships. ACAC Women’s Single’s Champ Takeisha Wang started very strong at the Nationals, going 2-1 on opening day. Her only loss was to the reigning National Women’s Singles Champion from Humber College, 21-16 and 21-16. Day two would see Wang win both games and go to 4-1. She won in convincing fashion, 21-9 and 21-0 against Seneca and 21-9, 21-5 against the UKC Blue Devils. This set up another Gold Medal match against the Champ from Humber College. Takeisha was the only competitor that had given the National Champion a close game in the event but fell to the Humber juggernaut 21-8, 21-13 and claimed the Silver Medal. “Takeisha played really well,” opened Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine. “She was a little nervous and tentative in the first half of the first game, then she regained her composure. She had some great rallies in the 2nd game and did not look out of place at all.” All three coaches – Andre Leblanc, Samantha Wong and Kevin MacAlpine – are all very proud of her performance. This is Takeisha’s second medal at Nationals in 2 years, winning a Bronze Medal in Women’s Doubles last year with teammate Rachael Smillie.
Rachael and Cecilia Wolski competed in the Women’s Doubles division and they captured the Bronze Medal. They went 2-1 in their opening with their only loss coming from the OCAA and Humber College. On Day 2 they went 1-1 and this got them into the Bronze Medal match. It was an all-ACAC Bronze final with Smillie & Wolski facing off against a pair NAIT Ooks. In the end, the Thunder ladies owned the day and claimed National Bronze. Rachael Smillie has had a very impressive record at Nationals with 1 Silver, 2 Bronze and a 5th place finish in her 4 years at Concordia.
Connor Reinson also had a great weekend in the Men’s Singles event. He defeated the ACAC Champion in his first game of the tournament and that was enough to get him in the Top 4 ahead of the ACAC Champ and an athlete from the Atlantic Conference. Connor ended up playing for the Bronze Medal and although he competed very well, he came up just a little short, settling for a fourth place finish overall. Connor has now had two 4th place finishes and a 5th place finish in his time at Concordia at the National level.
Finally, Luc-Ly Nguyen and Braxton Wong were competing in their first Nationals in the Men’s Doubles division and it was a learning experience for them. They went 1-4 in the round robin portion of the tournament, defeating a team from the ACAA. Unfortunately, they came up a little bit short in the 5/6 game against the same Atlantic team and finished the tourney in 6th place.
There are good things on the horizon for the Thunder Badminton program as Concordia will be hosting the 2017-18 Badminton National Championships, with most of the Thunder team returning to compete next season!
Concordia Thunder Athletics is proud to announce that the Head Coach of the Thunder Badminton team has been named the 2016-17 CCAA National Badminton Coach of the Year. Now in his 8th year as Head Coach, MacAlpine tops off a season that also saw him honoured as the ACAC Coach of the Year. For the complete CCAA News Release, please click on the link below.
Here is this week’s recap of the Weekly Athletics Newsletter. Please click on the title bylines below to open each complete article on the Athletics website.
The Concordia Athletics Department is proud to announce that four Thunder Athletes have been named to the 2016-17 ACAC All-Conference teams. On the women’s side, 5th year Guard Nakita Newman was named to the 1st Team North and teammate, 3rd year Post Ann Stewart was named to the 2nd Team. In the men’s division, 4th year Guard Brett Jakubec was a 1st Team North selection while 3rd year Forward Ryan McLaren was named to the 2nd Team North. To read the official ACAC News Releases, please click on the links below.
First year Concordia athlete and Skip of the Thunder Mixed Curling team has been named as the 2016-17 ACAC Men’s Curler of the Year. The rookie Skip led his team to a phenomenal 17-2 record this season capping it off with the Gold Medal at the ACAC Curling Championships. To read the full official ACAC News Release, please click on the link below.
The Concordia Thunder Men’s Basketball Head Coach Reagan Wood has been named as the ACAC North Coach of the Year. This is the second time in his 5 year tenure as Head Coach that Wood has been so honoured, having received the COY award in 2012-13. Please click in the link below to read the full ACAC News Release.
The Concordia Thunder Women’s Basketball Head Coach Robbie Valpreda has been named as the ACAC North Coach of the Year. This is Valpreda’s 4th season as Head Coach and he has led his team to an 18-6 record and the second seed in the ACAC North going into the Championships. Please click in the link below to read the full ACAC News Release.
This weekend the Thunder Hockey team competed in the ACAC playoffs for the first time in 4 years. The Thunder opened up the series with Game 1 taking place in Calgary at SAIT Arena. The Thunder drew first blood on a goal by leading scorer Ian McLellan. The Trojans responded quickly however with 2 back-to-back goals and kept the lead heading into the second period. The second period continued with SAIT carrying the play and stretching their lead with 2 more quick goals mid-way through the period. Chance Thomas responded with a goal for the Thunder but that is as close as Concordia would get. SAIT would add an empty net goal in the third frame making the final score 5 to 2.
On Saturday night the Thunder returned home for Game #2. Adam Moghrabi opened the scoring early in the first for the Thunder on a partial breakaway. SAIT would respond to tie the game but the Thunder would take a 2 to 1 lead with 2.6 seconds left on a shorthanded goal by Chase Fallis. SAIT would tie it in the second but the Thunder would once again take the lead on a beautiful goal from Rory Davidson. After SAIT tied the game in the third, the game would head to sudden death overtime. Unfortunately for the Thunder, the Trojans scored just 23 seconds into the extra frame to win the game and the series.
Despite the loss to the Trojans the Thunder took a big step this season with their return to the ACAC playoffs. Coach Dan Glegloff reflected on the season; “We came a long way this year in establishing our culture and the way we want to play. The exciting thing about our team is that many of our leaders are just beginning their university hockey careers. With another strong recruiting class, our school and fans can look forward to more successful playoff runs in the future.”
The Thunder Indoor Track teams made the trip down to Lethbridge to take part in the ACAC Indoor Track Championships on the weekend with the ladies picking up 4th place and the men ending up in 6th place. Day 1 saw the 3k, 300m and 1k go off. In the ladies 3k, Rachael Smillie finished 6th and Elise Nawrocki finished in 7th. In the men’s 3k, Ian Lee finished in 12th spot. In the 300m heats, Mienna Starosielski ran a new personal best and school record to finish in 6th place and qualify for the finals. Haley Dunwoodie also ran a new personal best to finish in 15th place. In the men’s 300m, David Bargiel finished in 8th spot to qualify for the finals. Keith Spruyt finished in 11th while Brad Agnew and Jackson Murrell ran their fastest times of the years to finish in 14th and 21st places, respectively. In the 1k, Ana Zulic led the way with her fastest time of the year to finish in 6th place. Baylee Frissell was next across the line in 9th while Brynn deVries was 11th in a new personal best time. Bailey Troccoli-Hughes and Shelby Edgar both ran their fastest times of the season to end up in 12th and 15th places overall. In the men’s 1k, Spruyt ran a new personal best time to finish in 10th place. In the 300m finals, Starosielski finished in 6th place while Bargiel ended up in 8th place.
Day 2 began with the ladies 600m which saw rookie Mienna Starosielski grab the Bronze Medal in a new personal best and school record. Brynn deVries also ran a new personal best to finish in 12th place while Baylee Frissell finished in 14th and Haley Dunwoodie ended up in 20th spot. In the men’s 600m, all of the Thunder men ran new personal bests lead by Bargiel in 10th place followed by Spruyt in 12th, Agnew in 16th and Murrell in 23rd spot. In the ladies 1500m, Rachael Smillie ended up in 9th place while Ana Zulic ran a new personal best to finish right behind her in 10th spot. Both Edgar and Troccoli-Hughes ran their fastest times of the season to finish in 12th and 14th places while Elise Nawrocki finished in 16th place. In the men’s 1500m, Ian Lee finished in 11th spot.
In the final event of the weekend, the ladies 4x400m relay team consisting of Frissell, Dunwoodie, Smillie and Starosielski ran their fastest time of the season to finish in 6th place and break their school record. The men’s team consisting of Agnew, Lee, Spruyt and Bargiel ran their fastest time of the year to finish 5th overall. “It was a great weekend for both teams and I am excited for the future,” said Head Coach Matt Norminton. “The Indoor teams would like to thank Assistant Coach Kristen Hansen for all of her help this year.”
The Thunder Women’s Basketball team finished off their ‘season of ascent’ in Lethbridge this past weekend, playing in the ACAC Women’s Basketball Championship. Concordia’s presence in Lethbridge marked the first time the Thunder have been back to playoffs since the 2012-13 season. The 2nd seed in the ACAC North, the Thunder’s first match up was against the South’s 3rd seeded SAIT Trojans. SAIT’s playoff experience was evident from the first tip-off and Concordia’s ‘playoff nerves’ were equally evident. Going into halftime the Trojans were up 26-18. “We had to get all the emotions and nervousness out for us,” stated Head Coach Robbie Valpreda. In the second half, the Thunder started to get into their game day rhythm and cut the Trojans lead to as little as 4 pts. Nakita Newman led the push with a barrage of baskets but unfortunately, turnovers hurt the Thunder and they lost the opening match up 64-48. “We played out of our comfort zone tonight and played right into the hands of SAIT. We gave up 37 turnovers, the highest all year and the Trojans capitalized on 27pts off our turnovers.” Ann Stewart was named as the Player of the Game.
In the consolation semi-final, the Thunder faced the Lakeland Rustlers for the 5th time this season. “We had to go back to playing with some fun. We couldn’t let one game overshadow this team’s otherwise successful season,” avowed Valpreda. In the first half, the Thunder looked like themselves again going into halftime up 37-26. In the 2nd half, Lacey Weddle started out hitting a 3-pointer and then getting to the basket off of penetration. Ann Stewart was a big presence in the paint, finishing the game with 13pts and 8 rebs as the Thunder took the win 69-49. The victory put the Thunder up against NAIT Ooks in the 5th/6th game on Saturday afternoon. The Player of the Game was Ann Stewart once again.
In the final game of the playoffs, the Thunder were determined to go out with a bang. “We wanted to finish our season on a high note and finish our last game with our heads held high,” stated Valpreda. It took some time for the Thunder to settle in, falling behind 11-2 in the early going. It was a physical game on both ends of the floor for these old rivals as each team wanted to finish their seasons off with a win. “It’s like a boxing match out there; we were going punch-for-punch with each other. I kind of liked it,” exclaimed Coach Valpreda. Coming out of halftime down by four, the Thunder started to roll in the third quarter going up 42-38. Late in the 4th quarter, the Thunder took the lead again 59-58 with 2 mins left. “We did an excellent job of defending NAIT’s top players. We forced them to take some low percentage shots, we rebounded well against their strength but we didn’t do well against their pressure. It forced us to make some bad decisions which a veteran team like the Ooks took full advantage of.” The final score was 70-61 in favour of NAIT. Player of the Game was Nakita Newman.
In the end the Thunder had a great season, going 19-8 (playoffs included) and making the trip back to the playoffs, finishing 6th overall. “We always said we have to work hard to get to the playoffs and we got here. Now we will have to work even harder to be a champion,” concluded Valpreda. The Women’s Basketball team would like to thank all their supporters and wish all the best to their departing players.
Heading into the 2017 ACAC Championship as a #1 seed, expectations were high for the Thunder MBB squad. The road would not be easy as they would face the #12 CCAA-ranked Red Deer Kings in the opening round. A slow start and foul trouble plagued the Thunder in the first half and they found themselves down 23 heading into the break. A valiant effort in the 3rd and 4th quarters would not be enough as the Thunder fell to the Kings 95-73. Leaders for the Thunder – Brett Jakubec with 31 points, Mike Malin with 15 while Ben Grimsrud added 10.
Not able to get going after the heartbreaking loss on Day 1, the Thunder would drop their consolation match with the Lakeland Rustlers by a score of 67-58.
“What I will take away from this season is what we were able to do as a team,” stated Head Coach Reagan Wood. “We showed ourselves – and others – that if we work together we can achieve great things. The individual honors that came our way are nice but ultimately a reflection of the team as a whole. Brett and Ryan had amazing years and I am very proud of what they accomplished as part of the team goals and philosophy. The buy-in from the guys this year was great. While we are very disappointed in the result from this past week we learned valuable lessons and gained needed experience for next year. We still are a young team in many ways with several of our key players not having had playoff experience. We now have that and can use our loss as motivation over the summer and come back hungry next year.”
Here is this week’s recap of the Weekly Athletics Newsletter. Please click on the title bylines below to open each complete article on the Athletics website.
This weekend the Concordia Thunder Women’s and Mixed Curling teams made school history with both squads winning Gold Medals at the 2017 ACAC Curling Championships. The Mixed Curling Team went undefeated through round robin and page playoff play to win the Gold medal in a nail biter of a game against Red Deer College. The Women’s team took the long way to the Gold Medal game and also faced Red Deer College in the Championship final and came out on top to secure Gold for Concordia. A very proud Coach Dylan Theroux had nothing but words of praise for his young charges. “I am so proud of these athletes. They all worked so hard to get here and compete for a gold medal. Right from the beginning of the year these athletes set the bar high and wanted that Championship Gold. They showed it throughout the season with both teams placing in 1st overall going into the playoffs.”
All eight Thunder Curlers had one goal in mind at the start of competition and through the ups and downs of round robin and page play, the teams maneuvered themselves right into the positions that they wanted to be in. “As a coach I could not be happier for these guys for succeeding and getting that Gold Medal that they set out for in early October. Four of my eight athletes were selected to be All Conference players as well. The talent and connection these athletes have with each other made it possible to achieve such a goal.”
The Mixed team is now finished for the season as unfortunately, there is no National Championship for Mixed Curling at the CCAA level. However, the Women’s team has won a berth to compete at the CCAA National Curling Championships to be hosted by the ACAC’s Augustana Vikings in Camrose from March 22nd to the 25th. “We will be ready to go and compete again just like we did this past weekend. Not much else can be said about these kids except they all earned and deserve the title of ACAC Champions,” concluded Theroux.
Congratulations to both Thunder teams and good luck to the Women’s team at Nationals!
The Thunder Curling teams dominated the All-Conference selections for the Women’s and Mixed Curling divisions with fully half of all selections being filled by Thunder Athletes. In the Women’s category, Lead Madysan Theroux and Third Adrienne Maschmeyer were honoured for their outstanding play, while in the Mixed Division, brothers Tyler Van Amsterdam (Second) and Evan Van Amsterdam (Skip) were likewise honoured for their stand out performances.
For a complete list of the 2016-17 All-Conference winners, please click on the link below.
The rookie Head Coach of the Thunder Curling teams, Dylan Theroux was named the ACAC Curling Coach of the Year at the Championships banquet held at Lakeland College on Saturday night. Theroux led his two squads to a combined 24-4 record in the two regional play downs before going on to coach them to a pair of Gold Medal finishes to cap this extraordinary season. For the official ACAC press release, please click on the link below.
On the final weekend of the regular season, the Thunder Men’s Basketball team was in need of 1 win to clinch the ACAC North title. Heading up to Grande Prairie the Thunder would be in tough to get the job done, but ‘get the job done’ they did! In their best offensive performance of the season the Thunder defeated the Wolves 97-86, sealing the title. Leaders for the Thunder – Mike Malin with 26 points, Ryan McLaren with 22, Euriah Pemberton adding 15 with Brett Jakubec notching 12. “We did a lot of things well,” said Coach Reagan Wood. “We will need to build on this performance heading into playoffs next week. We need to keep sharing the ball and taking quality shots. Doing that tonight led to a very efficient offensive performance. We need to be better on defense but a good couple days of practice will help. I’m very proud of the guys for their hard work this year. Our goal was to improve on a disappointing season last year and the returning guys bought into the vision that we formed for this season. We added some quality people that made a big impact on culture as well as delivering on the court. Now the real season begins!”
With the division wrapped up the Thunder rested some key players for Saturday’s finale and dropped a 96-77 decision to the Wolves.
The Thunder now turn their focus to the ACAC Championships where they will face the always tough and talented Red Deer Kings in the opening round. “The guys are excited for the post season,” remarked Coach Wood. “Red Deer is good, no two ways about it. We are in tough and will need to play a great game to win. They have scoring and size at every spot as well as championship experience led by great coaching.” The quarter final game goes Thursday at 3pm in Medicine Hat.
The Thunder Women’s Basketball team concluded regular season play with a two game northern road trip to Grande Prairie. Coming into the weekend, the Thunder were looking to sharpen their game before playoffs and work on getting rid of some bad habits. In the first half on Friday night, it was the Wolves who were hungry for a little piece of the Thunder. They pounced all over Concordia, making shots from the perimeter and keeping pace with the Thunder, step-for-step. Going into halftime, the Thunder were up just 36-33. You could see that the Thunder had ‘bus legs’ and lacked the energy that the team is used to having. “We had no energy and were not communicating on either end of the floor,” commented Coach Valpreda. In the second half, the Thunder regained their usual vigour and came away with a 74-63 victory. Congratulations to Nakita Newman who was the Player of the Game.
Saturday’s matinee was the culmination of the countless hours in the gym and all the practice time and work that goes into a successful season. “It’s hard to imagine that today’s game was the last of the regular season,” declared Valpreda. “Sometimes it feels like this is a never ending regular season, but this year we are fortunate to move on to playoffs and have an opportunity to play three more games.” Right off the tip, the Thunder wanted to cap off their season in style and it showed in their tenacious, disciplined defense that held the Wolves scoreless in the first ten minutes, going up 24-0. “I have never experienced this as a player but now as a coach, it is something else (to be that dominant). We really worked hard the first ten minutes and it showed.”
In this game there is never perfection but the Thunder looked awfully close in the first quarter and went into halftime up 34-10. In the second half, the Thunder continued to dominate, out-rebounding the Wolves 54-29 and outscoring them in second chance opportunities 15-0. The thunder finished with a 70-30 win to send themselves into the ACAC Championships. Ann Stewart was named the Player of the Game. “Every member on the Thunder team showed up on the stat sheet contributing to this final win today. Now as the Thunder prepare for their playoff debut, they will experience a new part of their journey, something that they have been absent from for 5-years. We have been working so hard for this opportunity starting right from last August and for some, really since our season concluded last year,” summarized Valpreda.
The Thunder will be the new faces of the ‘March Dance” but look forward to the challenge. The Thunder will travel to Lethbridge on March 1st and begin their ACAC Championship quest on Thursday evening at 6 PM against the SAIT Trojans.
This weekend the Thunder dropped a pair of tightly contested games to the RDC Kings, but in spite of that result will be contending for the ACAC Hockey Championship for the first time since the 2012-13 season. Friday night at home, the Thunder were tied 2 – 2 late in the third and the game looked to be headed to overtime. However, that all changed when RDC capitalized on a defensive miscue by the Thunder with just 14 seconds left, handing the Thunder the 3 to 2 loss. Rory Davidson and Jordan Busch were the goal scorers for the Thunder.
Saturday night the Thunder played well again but could not solve the King’s goalie. The Thunder would get a goal from leading scorer Ian McLellan but eventually drop a 4 to 1 decision to RDC.
Next weekend the Thunder will take to the ice in the playoffs for the first time in 4 years. The best of 3 series against SAIT will begin on Friday in Calgary. The Thunder will host Game 2 on Saturday. Coach Dan Glegloff spoke about the upcoming series vs. SAIT. “They are a strong team and it will take a great effort from us to have success. We have come a long way as a team since we last played them and our team is very excited to have the chance to compete in the playoffs.”
This past weekend, the Thunder Badminton team posted some incredible results at the 2016-17 ACAC Championships hosted by Olds College. The weekend started off with the team event on Saturday. The Thunder played Kings University in the semi-finals where they cruised to a 6-1 victory. In the best of 7 final, the Thunder were able to win both the Ladies Singles with Takeisha Wang (Gold) and Rachael Smillie (Silver) as well as the Women’s Doubles event with Rachael/Takeisha teaming up. Unfortunately the Thunder couldn’t find another win anywhere else even though there were some very close matches. In the final tally, the Thunder fell to the NAIT Ooks 4-3 and claimed the Silver Team Medal.
Saturday night at the Championship banquet, no less than FIVE Thunder athletes were recognized as ACAC All Conference selectees, with Concordia recording more AC athletes than any other school. On the ladies side it was Takeisha Wang, Rachael Smillie and Kassidy Turcotte getting the nod while on the men’s side it was Connor Reinson and Braxton Wong taking the honours. Head Coach Kevin MacAlpine was also honoured as the ACAC Badminton Coach of the Year.
On Sunday it was time for the Individual competition and National qualifying. Concordia had 6 people qualify for the CCAA Nationals which will be held at Seneca College in Toronto from March 8th to 11th. They claimed two Gold medals, two Silver medals and one Bronze medal at the ACAC Championships. It started with the Singles event where Takeisha Wang continued her dominance of the Women’s Singles division just like she has done all year. She defeated this season’s Player of the Year from NAIT 21-9 and 21-10 in the finals to win the Gold medal. In the Men’s division, Connor Reinson won the Silver medal, losing a close match to NAIT in the finals but qualifying for the ACAC Wildcard team. Braxton Wong won a Bronze medal as well. In the Doubles division, Rachael Smillie teamed up with Cecilia Wolski to win the ACAC Gold medal in Women’s Doubles. On the Men’s side, Braxton Wong teamed up with Luc-Ly Nguyen and they finished with a Silver medal as well, also qualifying for Nationals on the ACAC Wildcard team.
Overall, there were some very impressive results and the Thunder should have many great chances for medals at Nationals this year!
Edmonton, February 18, 2017 – The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference is pleased to announce the 2016-17 Men’s and Women’s All-Conference Badminton Teams.
Andy Ko, NAIT
Connor Reinson, Concordia University of Edmonton
Nicholas Roque, NAIT
Imran Wadia, NAIT
Braxton Wong, Concordia University of Edmonton
Sherry Hahn, Olds College
Ryo Kuramochi, NAIT
Rachael Smillie, Concordia University of Edmonton
Kassidy Turcotte, Concordia University of Edmonton
Takeisha Wang, Concordia University of Edmonton
Edmonton, February 18th, 2017 – The Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference is pleased to announce that Concordia University of Edmonton’s Kevin MacAlpine has been selected by his ACAC peers as the 2016-17 ACAC Badminton Coach of the Year. The honour was bestowed upon MacAlpine at the 2017 ACAC Badminton Awards Banquet hosted by Olds College on February 18th, 2017.
This is Kevin’s eighth season at the helm of the Concordia Thunder Badminton program (2009 – 2017). Previous to that, Kevin was an Assistant Coach at Concordia from 2005 to 2009 and was mentored in that role by the 2014-15 ACAC Coach of the Year, Naeem Haque. This is Kevin’s second consecutive ACAC Coach of the Year award and third overall honour having received the award in 2011, the same year he also received the nod as the CCAA National Coach of the Year.
Kevin’s involvement in the sport of Badminton goes back over 16 years. He competed as an ACAC athlete for Concordia from 2001 to 2005 and began his coaching career while still a player when he accepted the Head Coaching position at Salisbury High School in 2003, a position he held until 2007. A math teacher at ME Lazerte High School, Kevin was the coach of their Badminton team in 2007-08 and then again from 2012 to the present day. Kevin has also mentored a number of past and current ACAC Badminton players as the Coach of the Zone 5 Badminton team at the Alberta Winter Games in 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2016.
With every game crucial to the playoff picture for the #12 CCAA ranked Thunder, they were able to hold off the hot shooting Augustana Vikings on back to back nights this past weekend moving their conference record to 19-3 (25-6 overall) and within one game of clinching the ACAC North title for 2017. Out in Camrose on Friday the Thunder led wire to wire but some late 3s and missed free throws allowed the Vikings to stay within striking distance in the final 3 minutes but would not be able to complete the comeback as the Thunder ended up on top by a final score of 83-78. Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with 26 points and 10 rebounds, Mike Malin notched 22 points and 6 rebounds. Euriah Pemberton had one of the best games of his career tallying 8 points but hauling in a career high 17 rebounds. Kwame Kang added 10 points and 6 rebounds starting in place of the injured Bevan Purnell.
In the final home game of the season on Saturday, the Thunder would come out of the gate slow and allow the Vikings to go up as many as 11 points in the first quarter but a 24-2 run would have the Thunder back up 9 by half. They would be able to push the margin to 11 heading into the 4th where once again the Vikings would find their touch from deep range and make the home side work to the bitter end for their 71-69 victory. Leaders for the Thunder – Ryan McLaren with 18 points and 9 rebounds, Will Pittman was huge off the bench with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Brett Jakubec and Euriah Pemberton both poured in 11 points with Mike Malin rounding out the double digit scorers with 10. “(It is) always good to win against another playoff team. Augustana has continued to improve all season. They are playing with a lot of confidence and played hard for all 80 minutes this weekend. I was happy we were able to withstand their runs and overcome our errors to pull out two wins. We still have a lot of work to do before March and our trip up to Grande Prairie this week will serve as another excellent opportunity to compete against a well-coached team, hungry to finish out their season with some wins. We have goals we are still working towards in the regular season so we need to play our best basketball this week to achieve them.” – Coach Wood.
Following the final two regular season games in Grande Prairie the Thunder will turn their focus to the 2017 ACAC Championships in Medicine Hat. Tournament goes March 1-4 at Medicine Hat College.
For the Women’s Basketball team, this weekend was a special one and especially so for three young ladies, as they would be playing their final game on the Thunder home court. Lindsay Piper, Nakita Newman and Ann Stewart will be moving on next year and the team, coaches and athletics staff appreciate all they have done and accomplished in their Thunder jerseys. “This was a special weekend for everyone. For these three ladies, the relationships they have built with their teammates, coaches and students at our institution is something they will never forget,” stated Coach Valpreda. But before their celebrations were to be put in place, the Thunder took on a hungry and energetic Vikings team in Camrose, knowing that the Vikings were fighting for the last playoff spot in the North. “We had an excellent week of practice and we prepared for them as best we could. We know what the Vikings do well and we tried to take those things away from them.” That they did, as the Thunder jumped out to an early 22-9 lead after the first quarter. Concordia kept their foot on the pedal and continued to play excellent basketball taking a 48-28 lead into halftime. “At this point in the season it’s all about being great for the full forty-minutes, to continue to get better going into the post-season.” One of those players who led the charge was 3rd year player Lacey Weddle. Lacey played tremendous defense and on the offensive end, made some great shots and assisted her fellow players also for easy buckets. The Thunder took the W with a 84-66 victory. “We talked about playing hard for each other tonight, working hard to get open to create easy shots. This is a really tough gym to play in and we just put up 84 points so I would say we worked pretty dang hard,” opined Valpreda. Congratulations to Player of the Game Lacey Weddle.
Saturday evening the Thunder were back at the RKAC for their final home game of the season. “You could tell that emotions were running high but in a positive way, as the Thunder would recognize those individuals moving on. As the game started, the Thunder were not quite as sharp as the night before. “They had more on their minds and knew what tonight meant for everyone. We seemed a bit flustered to start. We weren’t ready to go right off the bat. We had such a great performance the night before and we have to try to be more consistent as we move forward.” Eventually the Thunder would settle down and start to control the game, going into halftime with a 39-27 advantage. In the second half, the Thunder were exceptional on defense holding the Vikings to just 2 points in the third quarter. “Defense is something we can always control. We can hustle, rebound and defend.” The Thunder did that and those defensive hustle plays would create easy baskets on the offensive end with the Thunder taking the 69-37 win. The Player of the Game was Lindsay Piper.
“Tonight was more about Lindsay, Nakita and Ann. They are all exceptional student athletes and have all helped to build this program to what it is today. Lindsay has been with the program since the beginning through the rough times and stuck with it to see the success. Ann was given another chance to continue her studies and basketball here at Concordia. She never gave up and continued to work hard on and off the court being selected last season as a CCAA Academic All-Canadian. Finally, Nakita Newman with her leadership and experience is what this team needed to find success. She always provided her teammates with feedback for them to understand what it takes to win. That knowledge, along with her hard work and effort on and off the court have made her an invaluable teammate. Thank you to these three young ladies. Thank you for allowing me to have coached you and see you grow in your time at Concordia”.
The Thunder Indoor Track teams raked in the medals at this weekend’s Alberta Indoor Games held at the University of Alberta. In the Ladies 1500m, the Thunder women took 4 of the top 5 spots led by Ana Zulic in 2nd place, Elise Nawrocki in 3rd place, Brynn deVries in 4th place and Shelby Edgar in 5th place. Zulic, Nawrocki and deVries all ran new personal bests for the distance. In the Men’s 1500m, Ian Lee finished in 3rd place, also running a new personal best.
In the ladies 600m Mienna Starosielski continued her stellar rookie season, finishing 4th overall and inching closer to the school record with a new personal best time. Haley Dunwoodie and Baylee Frissell were next across the line for the Thunder, finishing in 5th and 6th. In the Men’s 600m Keith Spruyt was the top Thunder man across the line in 6th place with Brad Agnew in 7th, Mohammed Abdullahi in 8th and Jackson Murrell in 9th.
On Day 2 of the meet in the Ladies 3k, Elise Nawrocki was the sole Thunder competitor and managed another personal best for the 2nd time, finishing 2nd overall. In the Men’s 3k, Ian Lee finished in 3rd spot. In the Ladies 1k, Anna Zulic made it 2 for 2 with another personal best time and helped drag Baylee Frissell to a new personal best time in the process. They finished in 4th and 5th places. In the Men’s 300m, all of the Thunder runners ran new personal bests led by David Bargiel in 10th, Keith Spruyt in 12th, Brad Agnew in 13th and Jackson Murrell in 14th. Bargiel, Spruyt and Agnew all doubled back an hour later with Ian Lee to finish in 2nd place in the 4x400m, improving the team’s best time for the season by nearly 10 seconds.
The Indoor track teams will take next weekend off before heading down to Lethbridge to compete in the 2017 ACAC Indoor Track Championships. Last year the men’s team took the overall title while the ladies ended up in 3rd place behind MacEwan and Lethbridge.
The Thunder Men’s Volleyball team had one heck of a weekend to finish off their 2016-17 season. Friday was an unforgettable night for the team as fifth year Right Side and team Captain Connor Reeves played his final home game and went out with a bang. The Thunder came out firing and took the first set handily posting a 25-11 score in just 18 minutes. In the second set, the Thunder started out the same as the first but Augustana found their legs and although they gave the Thunder a good fight, came out on the losing end once again with a set score of 25-23. The third set saw a resurgent Vikings team take to the floor and hand the Thunder their first set loss 21-25. The fourth set was a fight to the bitter end. With the Thunder down 23-22, third year Left Side Keenan Forstey went back to serve and he finished it off in style with an ace at 24-23 as Concordia took the fourth set and the match in Connor’s final show at the RKAC. “Connor was excellent Friday earning Player of the Game honours and topping the night off with a proposal to his long time girlfriend and member of our women’s team Shandelle Meyer,” proudly stated Head Coach Lucas Jacobson.
On Saturday the Thunder traveled to Camrose for the final game of the year. “It wasn’t always great volleyball, but we pushed our final match to the very limits we could. Unfortunately for us we dropped the fifth set 21-19 in a hard fought battle by both teams,” remarked Jacobson. Connor Reeves was once again named as the Player of the Game. “We finished our season with 7 wins; a huge improvement from years past. We are taking big steps in taking our volleyball program to an ACAC conference tournament in the very near future,” concluded Jacobson.
The Women’s Volleyball team ended their season squaring off against the Augustana Vikings from Camrose and came away with two losses. On Friday playing at home, the ladies came out with high energy and took the play to the Vikings right from the start. However, they were unable to sustain that energy and the Vikings took over the match and won in four sets with scores of 25-19, 25-13, 22-25 and 25-17. Nina Kutzner-Dudas was the Thunder Player of the Match.
On Saturday, playing in Camrose both teams wanted to finish their seasons on a positive note with a win and fought for every point. The match could have went either way but in the end the Vikings came out on top with scores of 25-23, 25-23 and 26-24. Shandelle Meyer was the Thunder of the Match.
Coach Turner’s comments from weekend: “Overall we gave it our best but in the end we were unable to score the big point when we needed it and came away with two losses. As a team we did some really good things this year, but we need to get better in some areas of the game and I will evaluate that in the next couple of weeks and continue to build this program to the level it needs to get to.”
The Concordia Thunder Women's and Men's Basketball programs will be holding a Spring ID Camp on Saturday April 1, 2017 at the Ralph King Athletics Centre at Concordia. The Women's team will go from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM & 2:00 – 4:00 PM and the Men's team from 12:30 – 2:00 PM & 4:00 – 6:00 PM.
For more complete information, please click on the PDF link below.
The Thunder Women's Volleyball team has thrown off the shackles of defeat, notching their first regular season match victory in almost three years. Travelling up north to Fort McMurray to take on the Keyano Huskies, the ladies were determined to change their fortunes and break that goose egg in the win column. In Friday night's tilt, the ladies came out with a sense of urgency and played some exciting volleyball building a two set lead with scores of 25-21 and 25-20. However the Huskies did not quit and pressured the Thunder in the next two sets, winning 20-25 and 12-25 to set up a fifth set. With the Huskies continuing their momentum from the 4th set they built a four point lead right from the start. The Thunder battled back and continued to play side out volleyball but could not erase the lead as the Huskies were up 11-7 and looking like they would win the match. "This is when the team found that extra effort and pushed back, forcing the Huskies to make a couple of errors and letting the Thunder take over the lead," glowed Head Coach Trever Turner. With the opportunity to close out the set and the match, the ladies stepped up with a great dig and finished off the Huskies winning 17-15 to take the match. Shandelle Meyer was selected as the 'Thunder of the Match.
In Saturday afternoon's match, both teams looked a little tired from the previous night and the energy was low on both sides resulting in numerous errors that neither team could capitalize on. Concordia pushed hard throughout the match and forced a fifth set but could not finish at the end and came out on the other end of the result losing 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 11-25, and 15-13. Shae McDonald was the Player of the Game.
Coach Turner summed up the big weekend thusly: "We've been practicing very well this semester and I was very happy to see the ladies get rewarded for their hard work this year with the win on Friday. We have some very good student-athletes and they finally realized this weekend that if we apply the mental part of the game to the physical side of it, we can be successful. On Saturday, fatigue may have played a part in the loss but I give credit to the Keyano Huskies as they played hard throughout the match and finished their season on a positive note. We wrap up our season this upcoming weekend and we want to do the same thing so we will continue to be better."
The Thunder will finish off the season with a home and home series against the Augustana Vikings. The home match – and Senior's Night presentations – will go Friday at 6 PM at the RKAC.
The Thunder Indoor Track teams took part in two track meets this weekend, one here in Edmonton on Saturday and then one in Calgary on Sunday evening.
On Saturday, a few of the team members took part in the Golden Bear Challenge hosted by the UofA. In the 600m, Mienna Starosielski became the 2nd fastest 600m Thunder runner all of time, finishing in 18th place overall in a new personal best time. Haley Dunwoodie also ran a personal best for the distance, becoming the 4th fastest Thunder runner of all time over the 600m distance, finishing in 22nd place overall. In the Men's 600m, Jackson Murrell ran a personal best to finish in 18th place overall. In the Ladies 1500m, Rachael Smillie set a new personal best to finish in 20th overall while Ana Zulic did the same, finishing in 22nd place overall in the university competition.
On Sunday in Calgary, the team took part in the Trojan Invitational hosted by SAIT. In the 3000m, Elise Nawrocki and Ana Zulic ran new personal best times and finished in 5th and 6th places overall. On the men's side, Ian Lee and Mo Abdullahi did the same, both running new personal best times to finish in 8th an 15th places overall. In the Men's 300m, David Bargiel and Keith Spruyt ran new personal bests to finish in 6th and 9th places overall, moving them into 9th and 10th in the all-time Thunder rankings for the 300m distance. Brad Agnew and Jackson Murrell finished in 14th and 19th places, respectively.
In the 1000m distance, Rachael Smillie moved into the #2 all-time Thunder ranking, finishing in 3rd place overall and running a new personal best. Rookie Mienna Starosielski continued her strong season, also running a new personal best to finish in 6th spot overall and become the 4th fastest Thunder runner of all time over this distance. Baylee Frissell finished in 8th spot (also a PB), Bailey Troccoli-Hughes ran a season best time to finish 12th, Haley Dunwoodie was in 13th place (also a PB), Brynn deVries was 14th overall (also a PB) and Shelby Edgar finished in 16th place overall. On the men's side, Keith Spruyt doubled back to finish in 11th overall in a new personal best time for the distance, moving himself into the #8 all-time position.
In the 4x400m relay, the Women's A team set a new school record, improving their time by 2 seconds from the last race to finish in 4th spot overall. The team was composed of Baylee Frissell, Haley Dunwoodie, Rachael Smillie and Mienna Starosielski. The Women's B team composed of Troccoli-Hughes, Nawrocki, Zulic and deVries also ran very well to finish in 8th place overall, also improving their time from the first meet. The Men's team composed of Brad Agnew, Jackson Murrell, Ian Lee and David Bargiel finished in 8th place, taking over 10 seconds off their time from the first meet.
Next up for the Thunder Indoor Track teams is the Alberta Indoor Games being hosted this weekend at the UofA.
This weekend the Thunder played a pair of games against the top ranked NAIT Ooks. Friday night at NAIT, the Thunder played a great first period and found a way to grab a 1 – 0 lead on a big goal by Brady Bakke. However the Ooks came out strong in the second period and despite Patrick Carlin's first ACAC goal, the Thunder trailed 4 to 2. The third period was fast paced and the Thunder had many chances to pull closer to the Ooks but at the end of the night the Thunder fell 5 to 2.
Saturday night at home saw the Thunder get off to a tough start with the Ooks scoring two goals in the first 3 minutes. Brady Bakke continued his hot streak with another goal late in the period but the Thunder trailed 4 to 1. In the second period the Thunder got a power play goal from Rory Davidson and a shorthanded goal from Colin Minardi but entered the third trailing 6 to 3. In the third period the Thunder ran out of gas and the game ended up as a 9 to 3 win for the 1st place Ooks.
The Thunder now enter a bye week at exactly the right time with multiple nagging injuries throughout the roster. Following the bye week the Thunder will face the RDC Kings to close out the regular season.