WOLFVILLE, N.S. – The Acadia University women's basketball team is excited to announce four additions to the Axewomen's fall roster.
Included are Dartmouth, N.S. native Elizabeth-Ann Beals-Iseyemi, Michele Tchiakoua from Montreal, Que., Julia Sylvester from Dundas, Ont. and from the west coast, Victoria's Mia Roberts.
Losing some players due to graduation from the AUS champion roster of last year, the Axewomen were looking to infuse more physical presence, and experience to this coming season's lineup.
"We wanted to add more size and experience to our roster, and these four players really help. They immediately make us longer and more athletic, while still adding solid experience whether that's through Michele and Mia as older transfer players, or Lizzy and Julia who both played for top level teams. We think they'll all be able to help us improve again next season, as well as being real positive additions to our locker room. I'm looking forward to coaching all of them, and they're great additions to our current recruiting class," said Harvey.
A highly sought after 6' forward, Lizzy brings size and a spirited aura to the Axewomen.
"I chose Acadia because I have seen the opportunities it has to offer its students and I want that for myself. I also like Acadia because it's just the right amount of space I need away from home, but I can still have my family around me at games and breaks. Coach Len, and his team have established such a pristine work ethic on and off the court, with all their support and encouragement I can't wait to experience this all for myself," said Beals-Iseyemi.
"We knew we needed to get bigger this offseason as a team, and Lizzy really helps us in that regard. She's an excellent student and a very competitive player, so I think she'll be a wonderful fit with our current group. I expect Lizzy to make an impact with us early, her explosiveness and competitiveness are going to put her in a great position to help us right away. I know she's excited to play closer to home in front of friends and family, and we're really happy she chose to study and play with us here," noted Harvey.
The Defensive Player of the Year and Comeback All-Star with St. Paul's School, Beals-Iseyemi made it to the 2018 Conference Semi-Finals while playing in New Hampshire. Along with her time with St. Paul's, Beals was a member of the 2017 Team Nova Scotia Canada Games team and has attended a number of Canada Basketball National Championships on the BNS roster.
The added experience begins with Michele Tchiakoua who transfers from Dalhousie to take her second step in post-secondary education by enrolling in Acadia's Bachelor of Education degree program.
"I was interested in being part of the team because of my competitive spirit and my hard work, which is why I believe Acadia will be an excellent fit for me. I chose Acadia because of the program success and the support that the Axewomen get from the community. I believe that Acadia will provide me with the resources and support to bring my game to the next level," said Tchiakoua.
The 5'6" guard who played at Dawson College prior to Dalhousie, captured four provincial championships with powerhouse Quebec high school, Saint-Laurent.
"We've had to deal with scouting Michele for the last number of years while playing at Dal. I think she really fits our style of play and will add more depth to a solid core of guards that we have. Her championship experience with Dawson and Saint-Laurent, combined with her quiet confidence and competitive nature will make her a great addition here, I'm excited to get the chance to work with her," noted Harvey.
A 5'10" wing, Roberts is a transfer from Camosun College of the Canadian College Athletic Association. Named the PACWEST Rookie of the Year in 2017 and Camosun College Rookie of the Year, Roberts was honoured as a PACWEST 1st Team All-Star in 2018.
"Mia adds more length to our perimeter again and is a dedicated, tireless worker. She has aspired to play at this level and has worked extremely hard to accomplish her goals," said Harvey.
"She was a fantastic player for Camosun and provided solid leadership there that helped toward them gaining championship experience. I think she will be a great fit in our locker room and be a nice addition to the team."
A 6' wing and member of the Hamilton Transway Basketball Club, Sylvester was a 2018-19 OFSSA Finalist with Dundas Valley Secondary School.
"Julia was a player who had generated a lot of interest but was very specific with what she wanted from a school. After meeting some of our Acadia Alumni, she really locked in on us," commented Harvey.
"She is an excellent student and a long body with a solid skillset. I like what she has to offer, and with her athleticism and length, I think she has a chance to be a very strong player here at Acadia. I know she really enjoyed the atmosphere here while visiting, and we are excited to welcome her to Acadia."
Sylvester was impressed with her academic and athletic opportunities at Acadia.
"I chose Acadia, initially, because it gave me everything I wanted; with a great academic program, a great basketball program, and the distance from my hometown. When I went and visited, I fell in love with the idea of calling Wolfville home, and I knew it was the only choice for me," said Sylvester.
The Axewomen open the AUS regular season at home versus Cape Breton Capers on Saturday, November 2nd – 6:00 p.m, when they will raise their second straight AUS Championship banner to the rafters of War Memorial Gymnasium.