The Lightning Women were in ACAC final four action this past weekend Mar 10th – 12th, the culmination of one of the best seasons in Lightning history during the 2021-22 campaign. Finishing regular season action in 1st place in the South, the best of any previous team before them and finishing the season ranked 6th in the CCAA National rankings.
The Lightning had not seen competition since the 2019-20 campaign where they captured a bronze medal. With only four returning players from the 2019-20 season the Lightning were a relatively young team and faced a challenging year with adjustments to schedules and practices, however the Lightning overcame these obstacles and had a remarkable season.
Adjustments to the regular season schedule also had implications on the playoff schedule, affording The Lightning the right to host their first playoff game in program history. Finishing the regular season in First place, they received a bye in round one and hosted the quarterfinal round two game against the visiting #4 Medicine Hat College Rattlers.
The atmosphere in the gym was electric and the Lightning struck hard winning in decisive fashion 69 to 48. The win advanced the Lightning to the new format ACAC Final Four Championship. The matchup saw the Lightning square off against the North #2 qualifier the NAIT Ooks. The Ooks had a great game plan and played the Lightning in a way they did not see all year long, a tremendous amount of pressure in the full court with a stifling zone defense, the Lightning had their hands full.
The game went back and forth all night with eight lead changes and three ties throughout the game. The Lightning made a push at the end but fell just short losing 67-60, moving them to the Bronze medal game.
The Bronze medal match saw the Lightning up Against the SAIT Trojans the #2 qualifier in the South. With something to prove after the disappointing loss the night before the Lightning came out firing winning the first quarter 24-10. The women left it all on the floor in their final game of the 21-22 campaign leading in every statistical category in the game, winning the Bronze medal game 95-66 and capturing the Bronze Medal.
The Bronze medal is the 5th medal in program history in the past seven years of play. The women’s team has consecutively been in playoffs for the previous seven seasons with a medal total of 1 gold, 2 silvers and now 2 bronze medals. The Lightning were also awarded 3 all conference awards this year. Macyn Morning Bull – 1st team all-conference, Hannah Helton – 1st team all-conference and Andria Stitt – 1st team all-conference.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this team,” said Athletic Director Nathan Ruff. “Though the result may not be the one we had envisioned heading into the tournament, the way this team was able to overcome the adversity and come together to capture the bronze was really something special.”