GPRC hoopsters face Augustana enigma
TERRY FARRELL - Herald-Tribune sports editor
Picture, if you will, a small university campus.
Trees lining the courtyard – an 80-year-old building in the middle, serving as the administration office.
An enrolment of about 800 or so students, most of them living on-site, enjoying the picturesque ravines surrounding their quarters.
On weekends, those who have not headed to the homes of their parents, gather in a poorly lit gymnasium, to cheer on whichever sporting team may be hosting ACAC games that night.
You are about to enter, the Augustana Zone.
"There's something about that gym in Camrose, it's a little bit like stepping into "The Twilight Zone," said Grande Prairie Regional College Wolves coach Kim Gravengard, when asked what she expects from her women's basketball team in their doubleheader at Augustana this weekend. "It's been that way ever since I was a player, for whatever reason. You go there and you never know what to expect."
The Wolves are in fourth place in the ACAC North Division, with a 6-4 record. The Vikings sit in sixth, at 2-8.
Science fiction intervention notwithstanding, Gravengard expects a sweep.
"They are a weak team, but not one to be taken lightly," she said. "They will come out and fight hard. We are hoping to use our experience and our momentum to push us through and come out with good wins for both days. But we have to be prepared to play hard both days as well.
"But definitely, we should be coming away from there with two wins."
They will have to do so without the services of guard Lenka Rohova, who broke her hand a couple of weeks ago.
"Lenka gets her cast off this week, but I suspect I won't use her again until the new year," said Gravengard.
"It's going to be very sore for awhile and it's her right hand (shooting hand), so there's no need to rush her back. The upcoming break will be good for her."
Erin Slemp will be called upon for more minutes than usual in Rohova's absense.
"Erin will start, which isn't really a big adjustment," said Gravengard. "We kind of rotate those starting positions with the seven veterans. Guard-wise, we rotate between the four of them, so now there are three of them. Erin has been doing a great job this year as a fifth-year leader and so in that regard, we're good."
Gravengard is hopeful of giving her bench some good minutes on the floor this weekend.
"Our bench players should get to see a lot of playing time this weekend. People like Amanda Hoy, who has been getting about 10 minutes a game, should play even more in Camrose and she'll do well, as will Chelsey (Thorne) and Hailey (Grayston). They'll all get to play this weekend and these are the kind of weekends where you want to use your bench more."