MCAC Women’s Basketball – 2021-22 Season Preview

After a year hiatus due to the COVID-19, CMU Blazers look to defend their MCAC championship won in the 2019-20 season. The other two MCAC women’s basketball teams will battle for the conference title in a welcomed return to the hardwood court for the 2021-22 season.

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers

Head coach: Joe Di Curzio, entering 8th year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: Aira Abello (Sisler High School), Briana Ermantrout (St James Collegiate)

Key Returnee: Julia Schatkowsky (Wing), Shirliz Apiyo (Guard), Anna Pyne (Guard)

Key Losses: Jessica Marx-Houndle, Christina Klysh, Madison Wood

Number of total team members to start the season: 14 players on roster

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019-20 MCAC regular season record and placing: 12-2; T-1st place in regular season in NIAC standings; Won championship final over RRC

Last MCAC championship: 2019-20

Total MCAC championships (since 1999-2000): 6 (2006-07, 2007-08, 2009-10, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20)

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “We are approaching everything very slowly and working our way back to normal.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most. “Our rivalry with Providence has always provided excellent thrilling games.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “Every game is difficult in our league so we must prepare to play our best for each game.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “We are expecting a very tough competition in our league.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “The main challenge is playing under Covid conditions.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “We are expecting to do well and our team will work extremely hard to achieve that.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why.  Julia Shatkowsky –  “She is the two time NIAC league MVP.”
  • Who is your team captains this year. Julia Schatkowsky (Wing), Shirliz Apiyo (Guard)
  • A comment/quote from team captain.  “We are really excited to be back playing basketball and are really looking forward to our season.” – Shirliz Apiyo
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “The senior leadership on our team is excellent and our young players are really fitting in.”

Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) Les Rouges

Head coach: Christian Mouné & Josée Deezar, entering 1st year as the head coach

Keys for the team: 

Key Additions: New team

Number of total team members to start the season: 13 players on roster

Record and MCAC championship history: 

2019 MCAC regular season record and placing: N/A – as new team to MCAC

Last MCAC championship: N/A – as new team to MCAC

Total MCAC championships (since 2000-01): N/A – as new team to MCAC

Season Preview with head coach comments: 

  • How is team/coach dealing with transition back into play after a year of not playing at this level.  “We are trying to ease the players back into playing after this very long hiatus. If we add to that the fact that they are transitioning from High School basketball to college basketball, we have to be careful and patient.”
  • What games does the coach look forward to most.  “All the games as it is a brand new experience for all of us.”
  • What games does the coach feel will be a challenge and/or circled on the calendar.  “All the games.”
  • What does the coach expect from the League this year (i.e. competition, teams to watch for, etc.).  “I expect a very competitive league and a difficult year for our program which is just starting but also an exciting challenge.”
  • What are the challenges they expect with the season.  “Mainly getting the players used to play at a higher level and also managing their everyday lives with the demands of college sports.”
  • What are the team goals, expectations for the upcoming season /looking forward to.  “Growing, getting used to competing and making the players and the team better all season long.”
  • Please name a key performer for this upcoming year and why.  “I don’t think it’s the moment to single out a player. We are a new team and everybody is as important in order for this program to function and grow. All the players are great an eager.”
  • Who is your team captains this year.  No captains yet.
  • Final comment/quote from the head coach.  “We are proud and very happy to finally join the MCAC league. It will be a big challenge but it is very important for our players and for basketball in the province. We are excited to be a part of that adventure.”