In the wake of its first-ever national championship, the Carleton Ravens women’s basketball team were to be recognized as the city’s female Team of the Year at the Ottawa Sports Awards in late January 2019.

The Ravens women capped an undefeated 2017-‘18 season with a 69-48 victory over the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in the U Sports title game in Regina last March.

They were to share Team of the Year honours with another national championship-winning basketball squad, the Canada Top Flight Academy senior men, at the awards dinner at Algonquin College on Jan. 30.

“Following the historic win, the Ravens players ensured that their story was told,” noted the Ottawa Sports Awards announcement, “sparking an important dialogue about the media coverage devoted to women’s sport.”

Other 2018 winners include Canadian Olympic Team speed skater, Isabelle Weidemann, and world championship bronze medallist, cyclist Mike Woods, as the city’s Athletes of the Year.

“I had the vision that we would one day, hopefully, win the national title,” Ravens women’s basketball head coach, Taffe Charles, said at a campus breakfast celebrating the team back in the spring. “To have things come to fruition is absolutely amazing.

“We came into this year as one of the favourites and had a bull’s eye on our backs every game, with everybody focused on beating us,” he said about a squad that won a best-ever national bronze the previous season. “Overcoming that is pretty incredible. We were able to transform ourselves into champions.

“Our skill level is high,” Charles continued, “but our character is even better. That’s why this team won. The inter-personal relationships on this team made a massive difference. The players really like and respect each other.”

“I’m really proud of all of you for how you represent Carleton,” Vice-President (Students and Enrolment) Suzanne Blanchard told the team at the same event. “I want to congratulate you for your hard work and dedication, and for all you’ve accomplished. You’re great ambassadors for this university. Being a varsity athlete while getting an education is not easy. But being able to balance these two worlds will really help you in the future.”

Thursday, January 17, 2019 in
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