Women's Basketball recruits 5 - NDN feature

May 24th, 2015

Mariners acquire five new players

Coach McWhinnie delighted with new acquisitions and says they fit needs for the women's program
Ross Armour / Daily News
May 22, 2015

Coming off the back of a 2014-15 season which saw the VIU women's team host the national championships, attention has now well and truly turned to next year.The Mariners have announced the signings of five new players that will make up next year's roster and coach Bill McWhinnie is as buoyant as ever. Forwards Lanae Adams, Victoria Brown, Kate Service and Allie Weathersby join alongside guard Sara Simovic. McWhinnie says the group will fill a number of needs for the program next time out and said he was very happy that all five had committed to the team.Five-foot-10 Adams joins from the Arkansas Pine Bluff Lions in the southern U.S. andMcWhinnie described her as a "big time athlete who can create her own shot and defend all five positions."Weathersby, also five foot 10, arrives from the Highline College Thunderbirds in Washington state."Allie will give us a veteran presence who can score in a variety of ways," said McWhinnie. Both Adams and Weathersby will team up with ex-teammate Sienna Pollard who know each other from their Highline days.McWhinnie said he was equally delighted that Pollard had committed to the Mariners for another year. "That's a big thing for us."Pollard played a key role in the Mariners season which included 22 points in the opening game of the CCAA nationals against the Holland College Hurricanes. McWhinnie believes the familiarity of those three players will be of benefit to the Mariners moving forward. In landing the six-foot-one Service from the Camosun Chargers and six foot Brown from the Grant MacEwan Griffins, McWhinnie believes that will go a long way to solve the lack of size issue that haunted the Mariners last year.The coach said that theme was one of the key issues in losing out to PacWest rivals the Quest Kermodes in the fight for top spot in the conference. Simovic arrives from the Lethbridge Kodiaks after catching the eye at nationals."Sara was a two-year starter at the University of Lethbridge and provides us with perimeter scoring," said McWhinnie, who also believes the exposure of hosting the national championships has raised awareness of the strength of VIU's program. He said he was excited for next season and says the roster is deeper with the acquisitions.