The Thunderdome will be alive with varsity athletics activity


Lakehead UniversityTHUNDER BAY – Sports – The Thunderdome will be alive with varsity athletics activity this weekend, as the men’s and women’s basketball teams host McMaster for a weekend series (Friday-Saturday), and the women’s volleyball team hosts Queen’s for 2 games (Saturday-Sunday). All of the games played on Saturday will feature ‘Think Pink’ fundraisers and other activities in support of breast cancer research in North Western Ontario. Game times listed below.

Men’s Basketball (10-2, 1st in the OUA West) – The men take on the 9-3 McMaster Marauders, who sit 4th in the OUA West.

Orienting their offense largely on the long-ball, they rank 1st in the country in 3-point attempts (28.6 per game) and 2nd in made 3’s (9.8 per game) for an average of 34.4% overall. Junior guard Victor Raso is averaging 13.5 PPG and 6 rebounds per game – he also leads the nation in free throw percentage at 93.8%. Fourth year veteran Nathan Pelech (6’4″, 210 lbs) is currently shooting 44.1% from long range and leads the team in that regard. Guard Cam Michaud has also been scoring 11.2 PPG so far this season.

The key to Lakehead’s success will be closing out on McMaster shooters and controlling the glass. This task could prove more difficult as the mid-season injuries are starting to take their toll, with Joey Nitichoruk out this weekend with a stomach virus, and Yoosrie Salhia (stomach flu) and Greg Carter (lower body) status’ listed as questionable heading into the weekend.

Coach Scott Morrison comments, “McMaster is one of the top teams in the CIS when you combine their youth with their ability to compete with the best in the CIS. In addition to their ‘young guns’ they offer a couple of all-star quality players in Vic Raso and Cam Michaud. We are going to have build on and learn from our previous weekend vs Laurier where we saw how important taking care of the ball on offense as well as taking care of rebounding can be.”

Game time is 8 pm Friday and Saturday. Game coverage is available via SSN webcast ( and CILU Radio, 102.7 FM and

Women’s Basketball (7-5, 4th OUA West): McMaster is currently 5-7 and in 7th place in the OUA West.

Marauder 5th year Taylor Chiarot is one of the top players in the OUA (16.5 PPG, 6.8 RPG). She is a tough Match Up who can play wing, forward & post positions. She only played one game last weekend and sat out in the Marauders’ Saturday game – her status heading into the weekend is unclear.

The McMaster front court is also highlighted by 3rd year 6’3″ post Hailey Milligan, who is is a force in the paint (9.8 PPG, 7.8 RPG). Third year point guard Vanessa Bonomo is a tough PG who has played well against LU in the past. She is a great driver and can hit the outside shot. Third year forward Jaklyn Nimec is a very good 3 pt shooter and rebounder, and McMaster’s rookies have provided good outside shooting thus far as well.

Jon Kreiner says, “McMaster is a very big team with some tough match ups. We see a great player in Taylor Chiarot who can play inside and out and a team that can match up with our size. McMaster has beaten Ottawa and competed well with Windsor and our games have been very close in recent history. We must be ready to work hard, play with energy and execute our offensive and defensive game plan”.

Game time is 6 pm Friday and Saturday. Game coverage is available via SSN webcast ( and CILU Radio, 102.7 FM and

Women’s Volleyball (0-11): Queen’s is sporting an overall record of 8-5, with 4 of those losses coming on the road. People to watch on the Gaels include #3 Anna Pedjase, setter, who is physically strong with international experience. Anna will be looking to her big hitters, #10 Becky Billings and #12 Natalie Gray, both of whom are in the top 10 in OUA for kills. #9 Katie Hagarty has been the most consistent scorer for Queens and statistically plays strong volleyball.

Chris Green breaks down the weekend’s challenges, “Queens serves tough. However they give up as many aces on serve receive as they score. They are a team that should win OUA’s this year, but clearly have not solved their road record. Setter Shannon Walsh gives Queens a 1-2 punch second to none in OUA. They are an offensive power, and we will have to be on top of our game serving and defending.”

Green adds, “We look to continue to grow as a young team. Thus far our young players have stood up tough to many veteran teams and showed glimpses of what will be. This is a weekend to test again. Many teams will comment when they play us that they did not pass well today, but in my opinion, we serve tough. We have to, and this weekend will illustrate that importance. Queens passes well and we will have our hands full.”

“We will slow them down on offense with tough serving and we will dig their attacks. Defence is vital, Sara Hudson is in the top for assists. Our hitters have been finding their groove and we all know we should have Sara’s assists level even higher. Our Libero is in the top 10 as well for digs. and our block does a great job of slowing down attacks to assist the defense. All of these areas will be vital this weekend. This is a 2 game weekend, and our athletes will focus on Saturday only, until after that game’s completion.”

Game time is 2 pm Saturday and Sunday -Game coverage is available via SSN webcast (

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