Spartans pray for the pain to stop

At 2-14, the Trinity Western Spartans were all but the conference patsies going into last weekend’s matchup with the Dinos women’s basketball team (that honour was reserved for the winless Brandon Bobcats). Suffice it to say that little was expected from the lowly Langleyites.

The Spartans lived up to their reputation, dropping 65-44 and 84-54 blowouts to the Dinos.

“We expected to get two wins, and we did that convincingly both nights,” said Dinos Head Coach Shawnee Harle, who admitted that the visitors posed “less of a challenge” than she expected.

Post Jessica Foltinek recorded yet another double-double with a career-best 20 points and 14 rebounds on Friday, while guard Tanya Hautala put up ten points and led the Dinos with six assists. Forward Anna Bekkering, appearing in her last regular season home game, led the way with 15 points on Saturday, followed by Hautala with 14. Foltinek recorded 12 points, which was matched by rookie Jade Jensen, who completed her first career double-double with a game-high ten boards.

With the wins, the Dinos improved to 12-6 and clinched a chance to host the first round of the playoffs. They end the regular season this weekend against the University of Victoria Vikes.

“This is the most exciting part of the season coming up,” Harle enthused. “We’ve worked really hard this year; the team has come a long way. I’m looking forward to seeing how much further we can go.”

“It’ll be a good battle,” added post Angie Robson, in her fourth year of eligibility, but her first as a Dino after playing three years for Okanagan University College. “It’ll be nice to play someone outside our own province.”

The Dinos and Vikes have developed a rivalry over the years, and not only because of a history of meaningful late-season and playoff games. Harle played guard at UVic and got her start as an assistant coach there under Kathy Shields.

Even a new Dino like Robson is familiar with the rivalry.

“It’s not as fierce as the interprovincial rivalries, but both are good schools, and they both have crazy fans,” she noted. “We want to go in there and beat them in their own gym.”

The Dinos had a rare win against the Vikes in preseason action, but Robson pointed out that both teams have changed since then.

“They’re a completely different team,” she said. “They didn’t have [national team member] Lindsay Anderson then, but now they’re only playing seven players. We’ve got lots of depth, so we’ll be able to run them. We’ve come together as a team. We’re now more unified.”

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