Anyone who saw the UPEI Women’s Basketball team play in 1988–89 knew they were watching something special.
Defense, power, scoring, coaching, and a whole lot of heart made the two-time defending AUAA champions virtually unbeatable, and gave them a permanent home in the CIAU Top 10 rankings.
UPEI hosted the AUAA championship that year, and in a nail-biter in front of a packed crowd at Alumni Gym, the Panthers made it three in a row with a victory over the Dalhousie Tigers.
Next stop was the CIAUs at Laurentian University. Ranked sixth, the Panthers knocked off third-seeded Regina to advance to the semi-finals. A win over second-seeded University of Victoria put UPEI into the final against the University of Calgary. The Dinos gave the Panthers a bit more than they could handle, leaving UPEI with the silver medal and one of the best national finishes ever by an AUAA women’s team.
Paula Edwards and Stephanie Smith made the AUAA first all-star team that year, and Susan Knickle and Janet Nichols were voted to the second AUAA All-Star team. Other team members were Tracey Bowie, Tobey Jones, Lori Knickle, Stephanie Knickle, Kathy Quinn, and Kelly Shea. Head coach was Dave MacNeill and assistant coach was Karen Rowell.
For being one of the most successful teams ever at UPEI, the 1988–89 UPEI Women’s Basketball team, AUAA champs, and CIAU silver medalists will be inducted tonight into the UPEI Sport Hall of Fame.
Plaque presentation by 2000–2001 Inductee Peter Gordon to team captains, Janet Nichols, Susan Knickle-Deighan, and Tracey Bowie, with the rest of the players and coaches of the 1988-89 team present.