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Douglas College Royals seek first-ever national women's basketball banner

The Royals claimed their first PACWEST conference championship in seven years, rallying to the title from a 12-12 regular season record.
The Douglas College Royals' women's basketball team won the 2023-24 PACWEST conference championship, the program's first in seven years, and earning a spot at the CCAA nationals.

Douglas College's women's basketball team is looking to carry their dominant playoff run into nationals next week.

After finishing 12-12 in regular season play, the Royals rallied as the fourth seed in the PACWEST playoffs to ultimately capture the 2023-24 conference title for the first time in seven years.

The New Westminster school's 85-71 victory last Saturday, March 2, over host-Okanagan College secured an automatic spot at the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) championships next week.

First-year forward Mackenzie Dalphond led the charge for the green and white to the B.C. banner, recording a double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds en route to tournament MVP honours.

Anja Tjernagel, a second-year guard from New West who was named player of the gold medal game, added 13 of her own points for her hometown team.

Third-year forward Laini Glover also notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while second-year guard Elena Skalik scored 12 coming off the bench.

Glover and fifth-year New Westminster forward Jettie McLaughlin-Sakaki were named tournament all-stars in Kelowna.

The Royals upset top-seeded Vancouver Island University in the semifinal, 62-55, after beating Camosun College in the quarter by a near identical score, 63-55.

Douglas College has never won a Canadian women's basketball trophy; the program's best finish was second in 1991. The CCAA is the second-highest level of university sports in the country behind U SPORTS.

The 2024 nationals are scheduled to take place at Lakeland College in Lloydminster, Alta., from March 13 to 16.

The Royals will face Géants de Saint-Jean (Qué.) in a quarterfinal match on Wednesday, March 13, with tip-off at 2 p.m. PT.