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Lady Vikings remain undefeated

Mark Crown/ Camrose Canadian

Anytime a team starts a season with 15 wins in a row you would expect them to be a little cocky.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth for the Augustana Vikings women’s basketball team, who are undefeated on the season and sitting two points clear of second place King’s University College Eagles in the standings.

The Vikings defeated the Eagles twice last week to maintain top spot in the league, but head coach Leanne Shenton said that doesn’t mean anything going forward.

“Kings is a very strong team, they’re very talented so going into last weekend we were just trying to improve and we were happy that we got two wins but at the end of the day those are regular season wins,” she said. “Kings is going to be ready in the championship tournament and just because we beat them twice it doesn’t guarantee we will beat them when it matters.”

Shenton attributes the overall success of her team so far this year to the camaraderie on the court.

“We have a really committed group and we got everybody back from last year,” she said. “I think that commitment of a large group of people returning allowed us to pick up where we left off last year and continue to build. We wanted to achieve a lot more than we did last year so we’ve really focused on improving and turning our weaknesses into strengths.”

The Vikings have outscored their opponents by an average of 25 points per game this season and are shooting 43 per cent from the field.

One of the reasons for the Vikings success of late has been the play of forward Kelsey Lund, who was awarded ACAC female player of the week honours from Jan 21 to 27 for her strong play against Kings University College.

Lund is the team’s leading scorer this season with 212 points, averaging 14.1 points per game. In two games against the Eagles last week Lund scored 47 points and pulled down 37 rebounds. The star forward’s strong play earned high praise from her coach.

“Kelsey stepped up huge this weekend,” Shenton said. “I was really proud of her and the rest of the team too. Any given weekend we have someone stepping up but Kelsey took the opportunity this week to really shine and I think she played her best basketball that she’s played as a Viking.”

The Vikings will now turn their attention to finishing strong in the final month of the season.

This year’s ACAC championship will be hosted by Augustana and Shenton said she is looking forward to the experience.

“I think it’s an amazing opportunity,” she said. “I put the bid in hoping we would have an opportunity to play exciting basketball and have those memories on their home court. I think that the one huge advantage we have playing here is that we have the best fans in the ACAC so hopefully they’re going to continue to come out.”

The championship tournament will take place Feb. 28 to March 2 at Augustana.


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