(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Reds are taking their show on the road… at least they’re taking part of their pre-season show on the road.
The UNB women’s basketball team will face the York University Lions in a three-game exhibition series, October 12, 13 and 14.
The first game of the series, on Friday, October 12, will be played in Quispamsis, at Kennebecasis Valley High School. Tip-off is set for 7:00pm. The series finale, on Sunday, October 14, will take place at Sussex Regional High School, at 1:00pm.
The middle game of the series, on Saturday, October 13, will be played at UNB’s Richard J. Currie Center, at 6:00pm.
“This is something we did with the University of Winnipeg about eight years ago, so it’s been on my list of things to do for a few years,” said Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. “I approached Erin, because with her New Brunswick connections I knew it would be an attractive trip for them.”
Erin McAleenan, who played her high school basketball in Sussex, is entering her fourth season as head coach of the Lions.
“I’m looking forward to taking the girls to my old high school,” said McAleenan. “The chance to inspire the next generation and give back to the community that did so much for me growing up is something I really wanted to make happen. A big thanks to Jeff for the invite and organizing the tour.”
The Lions feature forward Megan Stewart, a product of Saint John High School, and former Fredericton High School Black Kat Emily Hazlett, who is part of McAleenan’s coaching staff.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to showcase U SPORTS women’s basketball across my home province,” said McAleenan. “When I was recruiting Megan, I promised her that we would return to her home province so that her family and friends have the chance to see her play in person and her teammates can see where she grew up.”
While it will be a homecoming for some of the Lions, it’s a crucial piece of the preparation puzzle for Speedy and the Reds.
“I hope both teams get better from these pre-season games,” he said. “I hope the players develop some new friendships and I hope we raise the level of interest for our program and women’s basketball in Sussex and the KV area.”
“We are the only U SPORTS women’s basketball program in New Brunswick, so it makes sense to try to play in other parts of the province to showcase the best women’s basketball talent that New Brunswick has to offer,” said Speedy.
The Reds will play a total of eight pre-season games, including the three against York.
They’ll play three during the team’s annual Helen Campbell Tournament, September 28-30, at the Currie Center, and two more during a trip to Laval, October 18 and 19, where they’ll face the Rouge et Or and the Laurier Golden Hawks.
UNB opens the Atlantic University Sport regular season on November 2, at StFX.
They play their regular season home opener on November 9, at 6:00pm, when the Reds host the Dalhousie Tigers.