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Second half preview

Women’s Basketball

Record: 5-3
AUS Rank: 4th
CIS Rank: Unranked

It’s an exciting semester for the women’s basketball team as they will host the 2016 Arcelormittal Defasco CIS Final 8 in March and will see the return of Chelsey Collette and Kaitlyn Mangold who are both coming off knee surgery.

The team is currently fourth in the AUS with twelve points and will look to improve on that with a bolstered squad.

Going to into last weekend’s play, Acadia was leading the conference with an undefeated 7-0 record.

“We want to keep getting better every week. It’s a long season and we have already improved a lot. But I don’t want us to focus on the end result, I want us to keep focusing on getting better every week,” said head coach Jeff Speedy.
“When we play well, we play with poise and make good decisions with the ball. When we are careless with the ball, our turnovers often lead to our downfall,” said Speedy on what his team needs to do to ensure consistency.

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Men’s Basketball

Record: 4-4
AUS Rank: 5th
CIS Rank: Unranked

Despite being the second highest scoring team in the Atlantic Conference through their first eight games, UNB has won only half of them.

 

 

The team has lost more than just games however, as they have had to deal with multiple injuries including one to starter Nikola Mandic, who was an distinct interior presence for the Reds.

Head coach Brent Baker added 6’8” Ravaughn Gayle to the roster over the break to try to plug the hole left by the Mandic injury.

“We would really like to improve our interior, defense and rebounding,” said Baker on the teams goals for the second term. “Making the playoffs is goal number one.”
Veteran guards Matt Daley (16.1 points per game) and Javon Masters (24.0 points per game) will look to lead their team back to the AUS championships in March.

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Men’s Hockey 

Record: 11-3-2
AUS Rank: 3rd
CIS Rank: 7th

Head coach Gardiner MacDougall and the rest of the staff on the men’s hockey team stayed busy over the break as they added three forwards to their roster. Chris Clapperton, Cam Braes and Mike Thomas will all dawn the red and black in the second semester, Braes and Thomas will do so for the second times in their careers.

 

“Chris Clapperton was a nice Christmas present,” said MacDougall, who knew for a while the team would be getting back Braes and Thomas. “I think there’s good dimensions in all three to help our group be better.”

The team now has a dynamic group of forwards that will be tough for any team in the CIS to contain.

“I think you’re going to like the group,” said MacDougall “People like faster and faster hockey, we’re going to start fast and we’re going to finish faster.”

There are three spots available for AUS teams at this year’s CIS University Cup being hosted by SMU, who gets automatic entry in the national tournament.

The V-Reds entered the break in third place in the AUS two points behind StFX and three points back of first place Acadia.

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Men’s Volleyball 

Record: 4-4
AUS Rank: 2nd
CIS Rank: Unranked

For those that don’t know, AUS men’s volleyball consists of only three teams, Memorial, Dalhousie and UNB, making every conference match a rivalry one.

Memorial is yet to win a game however, UNB and Dalhousie are extremely competitive and always produce exciting matches.

The two teams have yet to play this season and will do so for the first time over the weekend as the Reds travel to Halifax to take on their conference rivals.

UNB will then host an AUS-RSEQ interlock event that will see them play against such teams as Laval, Montreal, and Sherbrooke.

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Photo: Brad Parker / The Brunswickan

Women’s Volleyball

Record: 3-6
AUS Rank: 3rd
CIS Rank: Unranked

The 3-6 record is not indicative of how the women’s volleyball team has played this year, as they have only lost one game in conference play, so far.

 

The AUS plays many out of conference matches against OUA and RSEQ teams who have much higher budgets and more staff that help with recruiting, making it hard for smaller schools like UNB to compete.

“Attack efficiency will be the big one for us in the second half,” said head coach Jilliane Portelli on what the team can improve on going forward.

UNB will play the majority of their conference games in the New Year, making every match a crucial one in a tightly packed playoff race.

Paige Nelmes, a veteran Libero for the team, is the only graduating player this year and will be recognized at senior night on February 19.

The goal for the team is to make the playoffs and to bring home the AUS banner at the end of the season.

File - Preview swim

Photo: File/The Brunswickan

Swimming 

AUS Championships: February 12-14
CIS Championships: February 26-28

The swim team has one more invitational meet before the AUS championships in February.

 

So far, Charli Leblanc from the women’s team, is the only UNB swimmer to qualify for the CIS championships.

“The women’s team is aiming to get a medal in every event at the AUS championships,” said head coach Robin Ferdinand. “The Men’s team is hoping to bump up to third or fourth at the AUS Championships, get some podium finishes and have one CIS qualifier.”

Ferdinand believes there is room for improvement and is hoping more athletes from the women’s team will be able to qualify for CIS.

“We need to work on skills, be the fastest off the blocks, fastest turns, and be strong underwater.”

Photo: Anne Ugabi/The Brunswickan

Photo: Anne Ugabi/The Brunswickan

Track and Field 

AUS Championships: February 27-28
CIS Championships: March 10-12

“The team needs to find another gear and another performance level. If we are going to challenge our AUS competitors for conference victories we need to find a way to dig a little deeper, race a little faster, jump a little higher, and throw [and] jump farther,” said head coach Jason Reindl about his track team that will compete against AUS competition for the first time this season on January 16 at the Moncton Open.

The annual McGill team challenge that takes place on January 28-29 will be a major test for the V-Reds as they get the opportunity to race against some of the country’s best athletes.

“Last year our men’s team was second at the AUS championships and women were third. We sent three athletes to the CIS national championships and we won 21 medals. Our focus is to build on these achievements,” said Reindl.

Veterans Daniel Brown, Jonathan Bunn and Grace Annear will look to lead a group of talented athletes onto the podium this season.

Look out for rookies Liam Turgeon, who already ranks third in shot put and second in weight throw, as well as Victoria Leblanc who has already medaled at the national level.

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