This past weekend, Algoma University faced off in a hard fought battle against the Laurier Golden Hawks. The match up not only marked the resumption of the OUA season, but it was also a welcomed return for Thunderbird fans in the George Leach Center. After the extended layoff, Senior Guard Thais Matté appeared not to miss a beat averaging 13.5 points per game throughout the weekend. “It feels much better to have the fans on our side, when we go to Western you see the energy and you want to have that for you and your team. So being at home and being able to have the fans cheering for us feels awesome and brings great energy.” With the Golden Hawks missing over 60% of their free throws, the atmosphere in the GLC clearly had an impact on the games.
“This (past) weekend, it was the first time we actually competed in back to back games. I believe we played really well as a team but it was just unfortunate that we couldn't win in the end. It was two close games.” With that being said, she added: “That is really good for our energy coming up this weekend against Lakehead, where they are a team that we have tried to beat for a few years now, so I hope this weekend we have the chance to do it. You know we are at home and it's our senior night. Competing last weekend shows us that we can do it.”
Saturday's matchup against Lakehead, will serve as an opportunity to commemorate the hard work of five seniors on the Women's Basketball team: Thais Matté, Ayaka Nakashima, Keyra Gallo, Darryn Lindquist, and Megan Looney. Throughout the season, these seniors have shown nothing but perseverance, courage, and dedication to their craft. As it relates to Saturday night, Thais shared with us that she currently has “no emotions.”
“Maybe it's because I don't believe that this is here already. I feel that I will definitely feel it on Friday night when we start, especially (because) Friday night and Saturday are our last home games. As of right now, I try to keep calm and just enjoy as much as I can. I feel that Friday and Saturday it's going to hit me for real. “
As we concluded our conversation with Thais, she took the time to reflect on her four years at Algoma University. Matte will most importantly miss being “around the team, – traveling and enjoying basketball.”
Regarding academics, she expressed: “I have really nice teachers, my classes are smaller than other schools that I have been in. So that is really good when it comes to creating relationships with your professors and most of my professors come to watch my games which is awesome! But school wise, I like Algoma. I think it is a good environment, they have a very good business program.”