EOU WOMEN BEGIN NATIONAL TOURNAMENT RUN THURSDAY
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
Eastern Oregon junior guard Jamie Jo Cant said she is ready to play some basketball.
Before hopping on the bus Sunday to begin the long journey to Sioux City, Iowa, for the NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Champion-ship Tournament, Cant and her teammates posed for photos and joked about who has the largest suitcase.
"We haven't played (in like) forever," Eastern coach Anji Weissenfluh said minutes after getting back from coaching softball in Richland, Wash.
"It's a different season," she said.
Eastern beat Warner Pacific College for the Cascade Collegiate Conference Tournament title March 1. That gave the Mountaineers the CCC No. 1 seed.
The No. 16 Mountaineers open the national tournament against No. 17 Dominican (Calif.) at 7:15 p.m. (PST) Thursday. The Mountaineers game will be broadcast on KWRL 99.9 FM and KEOL 91.7 FM.
Thirty-two teams are vying for the national championship. Cardinal Stritch (Wis.) has the best record at 31-1. Cedarville (Ohio) and Tennessee Wesleyan have 31-2 records.
The Dominican Penguins (28-8), based in San Rafael, Calif., lost to Holy Names 65-45 in the California Pacific Conference finals. That loss snapped a string of 16 straight wins.
The Mountaineers (26-2) have a 19-game win streak entering the tournament.
If the No. 4 seed Mount-aineers beat the No. 5 seed Penguins Thursday in the opening game, they will play at 7:15 p.m. Friday against the Hastings (Neb.)-Warner Southern (Fla.) winner.
Hastings (28-3) is the No. 1 NAIA Division II team in the nation.
Warner Pacific, a Cascade Collegiate Conference rival, plays Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) at 2 p.m. Thursday.
NAIA Women's Division II uses a four-bracket system, with eight teams in each bracket.
Weissenfluh said she hopes for a good game and match-up against Dominican.
"We're ready," Weissenfluh says. "We're ready to get it done."