Making the switch
After a dominating showing at the Ranger Elite Cougar Classic Oct. 15-17, including a 105-26 trouncing of St. Mary’s University College, the Cougars women’s basketball team is looking to start the regular season off with a bang.
With a very impressive 26-point outing on Oct. 12, new recruit Rochelle Thoutenhoofd made her mark on the ACAC pre-season play.
Thoutenhoofd is a little bit different than the average recruit, making the switch from CIS play with the University of Victoria Vikes to ACAC play with Cougar athletics at MRU.
From the school side of things, Thoutenhoofd said she had taken all the courses she could at UVic and that MRU had some of the courses she needed. The Calgary native has a lot of family here as well so she gave head coach Joe Enevoldson a call about trying out.
“Obviously we’re (Cougar athletics) a pretty good program,” Enevoldson said, adding that Thoutenhoofd sounded “intrigued,” so the five-foot-nine forward ended up deciding to come play for the Cougars.
“She brings the ability to score. Definitely that’s her MO,” Enevoldson said.
As for making the switch from CIS to ACAC, Thoutenhoofd said, “The difference between CIS play and college ball is CIS ball is a little more physical and they’re (CIS players) a little bit bigger.”
“What I’m working on is the discipline and the little things,” she said, adding that’s “what marks you from an average player to a great player whether you’re in CIS or college ball.”
Cougar athletics may be joining those bigger CIS ranks one day soon, as The Reflector reported in early September with MRU official university announcement that the school will be applying for CIS status in January 2012.
The women’s basketball team has five returning players on their roster and seven new recruits, but that hasn’t stopped them from having a more than stellar 7-2 pre-season.
Out of the seven new players to the team, four are rookies: Nikki Golding, Mackenzie Meeks, Carrie Pickering and Barbara Wiegle. Enevoldson said that the team is very confident and is getting better every day, which has been their focus from day one.
“We want to work to be the best defensive team in the league,” said Thoutenhoofd.
“Just like any team we want to strive to win nationals…what’s great about this group of girls is we want to get better everyday and I can see it.”
Enevoldson said he believes, “their work ethic and their desire is going to get them to the next level.”
The women’s team starts their ACAC regular season play Oct. 23 and 24 against Briercrest at home on Kenyon Court.