The no. 10 ranked uOttawa Gee-Gees resume the regular season on the road this Friday at the OUA’s newest team, the Algoma Thunderbirds, before heading to Sudbury to take on Laurentian Voyageurs Saturday. A holiday trip to Florida for the team helped to prime the Gee-Gees’ engine as they restart the season and head down the stretch.
This will be uOttawa’s first ever meeting with Algoma after they moved up from the CCAA to the CIS over the summer. No one expected it to be a painless transition for the Thunderbirds, who are still searching for their first win and have the worst defence in the conference, allowing 71 points per game. Despite that, the Gee-Gees don’t expect to be complacent in their first game back.
Laurentian will be the opponent Saturday, sitting at 2-7 so far on the season. The Voyageurs are a team the Gee-Gees have had their way with, coming out on top of every meeting since February of 2010.
“We expect to get the best from both teams this weekend and the travel will make for an interesting road trip,” says head coach Andy Sparks. “We should not be too out of shape with some good training since our last games.”
The Gee-Gees defeated the NCAA division II no. 18 ranked Rollins College 60-47 in an exhibition game and scrimmaged against Florida Southern and Webber University to gain an even wider range of experience while in the Sunshine State.
“Our trip to Florida was awesome because it gave us all an opportunity to continuing growing as a team, just being able to play teams we hadn't scouted and get back to basics,” says fifth-year forward Angela Tilk. “It gave some of the younger players some good opportunities to work on their game, and we have begun to trust one another as more of a unit.”
Back at home, the Gee-Gees are tied for second in OUA East with the Carleton Ravens at 6-3 behind the Queen’s Gaels who boast a 7-3 record. uOttawa finished 2013 with a tough loss at rival Carleton.
“As always, our emphasis is defence,” says Tilk. “We've made big improvements in our team defending and rebounds, and will look to make a statement this weekend by locking both of our opponents down defensively.