The complete composure and absolute domination displayed this past weekend by the Dinos women's basketball team suggested to all present that destiny was playing itself out.
Head Coach Shawnee Harle tends to agree.
"I never felt any panic Saturday," said Harle in reference to the Dinos' gritty 78-73 victory over the Simon Fraser University Clan. "There's a real sense of calm and confidence around this team."
A team leader all year, power forward Leighann Doan owned the Jack Simpson Gymnasium over the weekend following up a 20 point, eight rebound performance on Friday with a 28 point, 11 rebound double-double Saturday. These included a clutch last-minute free throw with Saturday's game on the line.
"I realized it was the final game I'd ever play here and I started to cry," recalled Doan during Tuesday afternoon's shootaround. "But there's still a lot of work to be done."
Despite Doan's numbers, this weekend was not a solo effort by any stretch of the imagination. The team was solid from top to bottom and back to front, with great minutes off the bench, incredible ball movement and a stifling defence that shut down national team member and SFU's star point guard Teresa Kleindienst.
"She's the best point guard in the country," smiled her Dinos counterpart Natalie Hudec--first line of defence against Kleindienst. "Shutting her down gives us a tonne of confidence heading into Victoria."
The women head off to face the University of Victoria Vikings this weekend for the second time in a little over a month, this time with the Canada West championship and a berth at Nationals in Edmonton March 8-11 on the line. After their stellar play this weekend and a dominant victory the last time these two teams tangled, the Dinos are awash with confidence.
"We're gonna sweep them," Hudec playfully smirked. "It's gonna be tough but we're gonna take them in two straight."
Coach Harle was just as sure of her squad's ability to shut down Victoria and, more importantly, the dynamic duo of Kim Johnson and Lindsay Anderson, third and fourth in conference scoring respectively.
"Johnson and Anderson won't pose problems. We'll just sit in the paint and wait for them to penetrate because that's all they really do," a calm coach Harle assured. "I also feel as though we have (Vikes point gaurd) Lindsay Brooke taken care of. Natalie has definitely got her number."
Confidence aside, the Dinos are in tough. Their triumph in early February was their first in over a dozen games against the Vikes, but they're nowhere near being rattled.
"It's not about us just wanting it," Doan stated definitively. "We're going to go out and get it."
How much actually is at stake this weekend?
"For myself, Leighann and (shooting guard) Sarah (Williams) it's our last chance," mused forward Alison McGinn sporting a determined stare. "It's a feeling that's never spoken of but we all know that it's there."