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Blazers WBB Look to Reach New Heights with Addition of Bergen

Blazers WBB Look to Reach New Heights with Addition of Bergen

The CMU Women's Basketball program is very pleased to announce the commitment of Sara Bergen for the 2023-24 MCAC and NIAC seasons. The local St Mary's Academy and Manitoba Provincial Team product will be a commanding force around the basket for the Blazers this season.

Coming off a high school season plagued by injuries, Bergen is as motivated as ever to bring her game to the next level with the Blazers as the team chases a sixth-consecutive MCAC Championship, and looks to make another run at a double-championship season as the team did in 2020 capturing the NIAC Championship Title as well.  In her senior year at St Mary's Bergen had the misfortune of breaking her right (shooting) hand just prior to the season start, and not wanting to miss out on her final year of high school play, she taught herself to shoot left handed in order to still be an asset to her team.  When she was finally healthy enough to be inserted back into the lineup her impact was immediately felt, helping lift the team to a top ten ranking in the province before her season got cut short due to an ankle injury only two weeks after getting back on the court.  Her dedication to the game garnered her an MHSAA Graduating All-Star selection in the "AAAA" tier earlier this year.  Bergen's grade eleven high school season was a better indication of the impact she can have on a team, when she helped her Flames to a semi-finals appearance at the 2022 Provincial Championships.  After entering the tournament as the seventh-ranked team in Manitoba, Bergen and her Flames dispatched the Miles Mac Buckeyes before upsetting the second-seeded Daniel McIntyre Maroons en route to their final four appearance.  Bergen's varsity coach, Joel Neufeld weighed in on his star forward and the influence she can have on a squad stating "Sara is a great leader on and off the basketball court.  She has also demonstrated a fantastic work ethic to improve all facets of her game and will be an excellent addition to any team."

Last summer Bergen suited up for the 17U Provincial Team Manitoba following her breakout high school season with St Mary's, and this club season has featured with both the Winnipeg Wolves in the youth system as well as with Evolve in the elite adult club system.  Bergen's Wolves coach Martin Riley noted her drive to develop into the best player possible, commenting "Sara is a motivated and dedicated self starter.  She is willing to listen, is positive, and puts in the effort to become a better player and teammate.  It has been a real pleasure coaching her."  Having received top-level coaching from high school to club basketball, it's no wonder Bergen has developed into the player she has, with the ability to swing the momentum of a game into her team's favour.  Having just come off a Provincial Club Championship win this past weekend with Evolve, Bergen is ready to take her game to the next level with the Blazers.  Her coach Eric Sung also wishes her the best as she moves into the college game, noting "Sara has been an impactful player on both ends of the floor for us.  With consistent shot blocking and rebounding and a great jumpshot she'll be an impactful player at the next level."

The most recent signing for the women's basketball team marks the sixth of the offseason for the program, as head coach Joe DiCurzio looks to stack his roster for the upcoming season in an effort to retake both the MCAC and NIAC crowns.  DiCurzio has been stocking up with top young talent from across the province and also weighed in on his latest recruit: "Sara is an awesome addition for our Blazers team.  She has a terrific work ethic and the ability to pick up things extremely quickly.  Sara brings a lot of strengths to the program: an ability to defend, block shots, rebound, and score on the inside.  She has played with her high school team plus top clubs including Evolve, and this experience will allow her to fit immediately with the Blazers; I'm looking forward to seeing her become a foundational player with the club."

Coming off their fifth-consecutive MCAC Provincial Championship and a NIAC Finals appearance this past February, the Blazers will soon start gearing up for next season with CCAA exhibitions scheduled on Thanksgiving weekend when they'll clash with Langara College Falcons, and Douglas College Lions in the greater Vancouver area before beginning their seasons back in Manitoba and the Northern United States.

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