WOLFVILLE, N.S. – Acadia University's Department of Athletics and Axewomen basketball head coach Len Harvey announced today the recruited class of 2018.
"I'm quite happy with our recruiting class this season. We had some obvious gaps to fill with our graduates, but I think we've found players who are going to help us immediately as well as into the next number of years", noted Harvey.
Jayda Veinot grabbed a head-start, joining the Axewomen roster in January as a transfer from Saint Mary's to Acadia.
Veinot competed on Basketball Nova Scotia's Provincial age group teams from 2011 to 2016 and was the Ricoh Award winner for Basketball Nova Scotia's Female Player of the Year in 2015-16. A product of Wolfville's Horton High School, Veinot, a 5'11 guard, led Horton to the 2015-16 NSSAF Provincial Championship and was twice named Horton's MVP.
"Having a player of Jayda's calibre being able to practice with our team and get used to how we do things for a full semester will be a huge help for her adjustment to this level, and will allow her to make an impact right away, she was obviously one of the top recruits in the country last year, so we were very happy she decided to transfer in and join our program at the end of the fall semester this year," said Harvey.
Halifax, N.S. native Shalyn Field will be seen back on the court in an Acadia uniform this season. The former Dalhousie Tiger took this past season off from basketball and will be joining the Axewomen this fall.
Field was a member of the Basketball Nova Scotia provincial program during her formative years and captured a bronze medal at the U17 National Championship in 2013.
A Sackville High School graduate and MVP in her final season with the Kingfishers, Field spent four seasons with the Dalhousie Tigers and averaged 8.5 points per game in her last season with the Tigers in 2016-17.
"Shalyn is a known commodity in the AUS, having been a very solid player for Dalhousie. Her length, combined with her offensive and defensive abilities will make her an immediate impact player for us here. She can guard multiple positions, and her slashing ability on offense will fit our style perfectly. She will add more experience to our locker room, and even more versatility to our lineup," said Harvey of the Tiger transfer.
From Portland, Oregon, Lanae Adams joins the Axewomen as a transfer from Vancouver Island University Mariners.
While at VIU during the 2015-2016 season, the Mariners were the Pacific Western Athletics Association conference champions and gained a berth to the National CCAA championships. Adams was named to the CCAA National Championship All-Star team and was a first-team PWAA All-Star.
"Lanae is an explosive guard who will immediately infuse our group with veteran leadership. She was a dominant player in the PacWest, and has a lot to offer our team on both ends of the floor, as well as off the court," noted Harvey on the transfer shooting guard.
"Having Shalyn and Lanae joining our program as veteran players was important for our recruiting cycle, as well as to inject immediate experience into the lineup, they're ready, willing, and able to step in and contribute right away," added Harvey.
From Ottawa, Ont., Alexia Smith joins the Axewomen this fall as a 5'11" forward who recently concluded her high school career with the OSBA Prep, Louis-Riel Rebelles.
"I chose Acadia for its beautiful campus, its great academic reputation and the incredible athletic support of the University and the Wolfville community. On my visit, I also bonded very well with the coaching staff and players and felt so welcomed by everyone I met," replied Smith when asked why she chose Acadia.
Since 2015, Smith has played for the Ottawa Nationals JUEL basketball club and École secondaire catholique Garneau Gauloise until the 2016-17 season. With the Garneau Gauloise, Smith was named the team's most valuable player for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
"Alexia has shown great growth over the last few seasons and through her dedication has become one of the toughest players in the OSBA. I really like Alexia's work ethic and 'nose for the ball'. Her size and skill combination will fit in perfectly here at Acadia," said Harvey.
Katie McAffee is one of two recruits from the Maritimes. A native of Centreville, N.B., McAffee is a 5'7" guard from Carleton North High School in Florenceville, N.B.
"Katie is a tough point guard with a high basketball IQ. She has a great feel for the game, and her humility and competitiveness are just two of the qualities she exhibits on and off the court that we are looking for in a student-athlete. She is a nifty guard and plays a style of basketball I know our fans will really enjoy," described Harvey.
McAffee played U15 and U17 Team New Brunswick where her team finished fourth overall at the National Championships in Edmonton and fifth at the Canada Games respectively.
Local Horton High School Griffins product Meghan MacLeod is the second of two Maritime recruits.
"Acadia has a great atmosphere. Both of my parents went to Acadia and my mother played basketball here. I've lived in Wolfville my whole life, attended Acadia games since I was a toddler and have always wanted to wear the Axewomen jersey. I am also very proud of the success this program has had over the last few years and am very excited to join this hardworking team," said MacLeod.
A member of the Griffins Division 1 team, MacLeod was a Provincial finalist in 2015, provincial champions in 2016 and provincial bronze medalist this past season.
In club basketball, MacLeod captured provincial championships in 2016 and 2017 with the U18 AAA Valley Head and U18 AAA Jr. Axewomen. MacLeod has also been involved with Basketball Nova Scotia's provincial program, captaining Team Nova Scotia at the 2017 Canada Games.
"Meg is a local player who I've enjoyed watching develop over the last few years. A tireless worker, Meg makes a huge impact on the defensive side of the ball to create extra possessions and frustrate the opposition. Her athleticism is a big positive for us when combined with her work ethic it will make her a solid contributor to our program," said Harvey.
"Alexia, Katie, and Meg are all high-quality players coming out of high school who were very excited to watch develop over their careers. They all bring different skills and talents to the table, but share a toughness and grittiness that will allow them to fit in right away," added Harvey.
"We're really excited about all of these players and think they're going to fit in extremely well to our culture and style of play," concluded Harvey.
The Axewomen look to defend their 2017-18 AUS championship win this coming fall with six recent additions and the return of all but four players.