Kodiaks basketball opens ACAC season by celebrating Lethbridge College’s 60th anniversary

Nov. 2, 2016 – A new ACAC basketball season begins this weekend for the Lethbridge College Kodiaks. Both the men’s and women’s teams open play by hosting SAIT on Friday and Medicine Hat College on Saturday. Saturday’s games will also mark a celebration of the college’s 60th anniversary.

The Kodiaks women lost just a single game in 2015-16, however it came at the worst possible time: in the ACAC semifinal, costing them a shot at both ACAC and CCAA championships as the team was ranked first in the country at the time. That loss provides this year’s Kodiaks with ample motivation for the new season as the team returns nearly its entire roster. Returning ACAC all-stars Emma Lowry, Sunder West and Logan Moncks will lead the charge for the Kodiaks, who will host this year’s ACAC championships in March. The Kodiaks open the season fourth in the CCAA national rankings.

On the men’s side, the Kodiaks have a new look this season after the graduation of their top three scorers from last season – Chaz Johnson, Colten Murray and Travis Butt. Returning forward Grady Taylor, who finished fourth in team scoring last season, will help lead the charge this season as one of the Kodiaks’ captains. Chris Maughn will also help to fill the void, as the 6-foot-9 forward returns to the Kodiaks following one season at the University of Lethbridge. Maughn was an ACAC first-team all-star in 2014-15 when he helped lead the Kodiaks to an ACAC championship. Despite the turnover, the Kodiaks are ninth in the CCAA national rankings.

The Kodiaks and SAIT tip off in Lethbridge’s home opener on Friday, followed by the Kodiaks and their archrivals from Medicine Hat on Saturday. Both games will be held in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium. The women’s game starts at 6 p.m., followed by the men’s game at 8 p.m. on both nights. Saturday’s game will include a celebration recognizing the beginning of 60 weeks of celebrations for the college’s 60th anniversary.

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The Kodiaks volleyball teams play rare Thursday night home games this week when the teams meet Medicine Hat College in a home-and-home series.

The Kodiaks men’s team (3-3) has climbed up to fourth in the ACAC south division standings after a sweep of Ambrose College last weekend. Third-year libero Andre Pires continues the strong defensive play that earned him an ACAC all-star selection last season, sitting fourth in the conference in digs per set (2.18). This will be a key weekend for the Kodiaks as the team is tied in points with the Rattlers (3-1), although Medicine Hat has played two fewer games.

The women’s Kodiaks (1-5) have a chance to take a step up in the ACAC standings, as the Rattlers (0-4) are the only winless team left in the south division. Third-year left side Kristine Ward has powered the Kodiaks’ offense this season, moving to sixth in the conference in kills per set (3.04) and fourth in service aces (13).

The special Thursday night games have first-serve in the women’s game at 6 p.m. and the men’s game at 8 p.m. in the Val Matteotti Gymnasium. The Kodiaks and Rattlers are in Medicine Hat on Saturday night.

Kodiaks tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, youth and alumni, $3 for college employees and free for Lethbridge College students. For more information, check out the Kodiaks website or follow them on Twitter at @LC_Kodiaks.