EDMONTON – As MacEwan heads into its sixth season in the Canada West conference, the Griffins women's basketball team will check off two firsts.
Both the Manitoba Bisons and UBC Thunderbirds will be making their first visits to the David Atkinson Gym.
Those contests (Jan. 3-4 vs. Manitoba and Jan. 24-25 vs. UBC) are among 11 home dates the Griffins have in their 20-game schedule as they look to return to the playoffs after a two-year hiatus out of the post-season picture.
The season gets underway on Nov. 1 (6 p.m., David Atkinson Gym) when MacEwan welcomes Calgary rival Mount Royal University for a weekend series.
"We are into Year 4 of the four-year cycle, so it's kind of fun that we get to welcome teams to our gym who haven't played here before, and visit a couple that we haven't been to yet either," said head coach Katherine Adams, whose team will visit Saskatchewan (Nov. 8-9) and Trinity Western (Nov. 29-30) for the first time in program history.
"The home and home series against U of A is always one you mark on the calendar as it's a great opportunity to engage the local basketball community."
MacEwan will host cross-town rival Alberta on Jan. 16 (6 p.m., David Atkinson Gym), before meeting the Pandas at the Saville Centre on Jan. 18 (5 p.m.).
The Griffins finished 6-14 – just outside of the playoff picture last season. They'll be looking to return to the post-season for the first time since 2016-17.
The first round of the Canada West playoffs (Feb. 14-16) remains unchanged and will once again feature single-elimination games between the No. 5 through No. 12 seeds, while the top-four seeds earn a bye (seeding determined by RPI). The teams advancing from the play-in round will be re-seeded 5-8 ahead of the revamped quarter-finals.
Both of the quarter-final and semifinal rounds have been compressed, both in terms of the number of games and weeks. Instead of best-of-three quarters and semis, both rounds will now be single elimination games, being played the same weekend (Feb. 21-23). The top-two seeds will host each side of the draw, with the winners meeting the following weekend (Feb. 29) for the conference championship.
The U SPORTS national championship is scheduled for March 5-8 in Ottawa.
For fans looking to watch the action, 2019-20 Canada West TV passes are now on sale, with the best early-bird pricing available until the end of June. An all-access pass ($79.99), or a soccer sport pass ($31.99), can be purchased by clicking here.
Season tickets will be available for sale on Sept. 14 online or in person at the Christenson Centre for Sport and Wellness.