Women's softball get set to host first official collegiate regular season games
September 17, 2021
The University of Victoria Vikes women's softball team will join the Western Collegiate Softball Association (WCSA) for their first official season after getting unanimously accepted into the league in 2019.
The Vikes played several exhibition games back in 2019 before the cancellation of the 2020 season as they were getting set to enter the league officially. With a talented roster of collegiate-level athletes, the Vikes will play a full competitive schedule in 2021-22.
"This season, we are grateful to be able to play, and we are hoping to make some noise and bring some attention to our program," said head coach Lori Zehr.
The Vikes become the eighth team to be accepted into the league. They will compete against the University of Calgary Dinos, the University of Regina Cougars, the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Trojans, the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns, the University of British Columbia - Okanagan Heat, the University of Victoria Vikes and the Briercrest College Clippers. Mount Royal University students in Calgary are eligible to play as well as part of a blended team with SAIT Polytechnic.
“This season, we are grateful to be able to play, and we are hoping to make some noise and bring some attention to our program.”
WCSA teams play a fall schedule in a tournament format, followed by the league championship playoffs. Qualifying WCSA teams also participate in the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championships each year.
"The WCSA is very excited and pleased to officially welcome the University of Victoria into the league," said WCSA President Randy Plishka. "The interest from B.C. schools bodes well for the future growth of our league. The City of Victoria has a great softball community and will support the Vikes program. I am certain they will be a competitive team in the league right from the start."
Leading the Vikes is head coach Zehr (NCCP Competition Development and level 3 coach). With the Vikes officially competing in the WCSA, Zehr will look to expand the coaching staff and hopefully attract new talent to Victoria.
The team is supported as part of the Vikes clubs portfolio and is not part of the traditional UVic varsity stream. The team will operate under a pay-to-play model with collaboration from the student-athletes, the coaching staff and Vikes administration.
“The WCSA is very excited and pleased to officially welcome the University of Victoria into the league. The interest from B.C. schools bodes well for the future growth of our league. The City of Victoria has a great softball community and will support the Vikes program.”
"I think it's a super exciting opportunity to have this team in Victoria so that local athletes can stay close to home and play in a competitive league. I think a lot of times players think that they have to go to the states to play competitive ball, but this league is not only fun, it's competitive and UVic is a great university," said team captain, Sydney Wood.
The regular season runs until mid-October, with each program hosting a weekend of tournament-style play. The WCSA playoffs follow the regular season. The top three teams advance to the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association National Championships which take place in Calgary this year Oct. 2-3.