KELOWNA, BC - Coming off of their first Canada West playoff appearance last season, the Heat women's side will be looking to make it back and move past the play-in round this year.
Week one of the Canada West schedule for 2017 will see the Heat women on home turf. UNBC will be the first opponent as the Timberwolves come to Nonis Field on Saturday, September 9, and the MacEwan Griffins will be the second opponent of the season the following day.
The Regina Cougars and Saskatchewan Huskies will host the UBCO women in week 2 (Sept. 16 & 17), before the Heat head home to host the Victoria Vikes, and their institutional rivals the UBC Thunderbirds in week 3.
The fourth weekend of conference play will have the Heat back on the road. September 29 will see them in Langley to play the TWU Spartans, and September 30 they'll be in Abbotsford to face the Fraser Valley Cascades.
The 2017 edition of the annual home-and-home series against TRU starts the back end of the season for the Heat. The first leg of that will go on Thursday, October 5 on Nonis Field in Kelowna, and the second on Saturday, October 7 in Kamloops.
The Heat women's final two home matches will be on October 14 & 15 against Calgary and Lethbridge respectively, before the Okanagan side closes out their season on the road against MacEwan and UNBC on October 20 & 22.
This season marks a new conference playoff format on the women's side, as the CW Women's Final Four returns after two years of a six-team format. Both the men's and women's conference champions will be crowned using the four-team format the first weekend of November. On the women's side, the top seeded Prairie Division team is slated to host the tournament, while the men's event heads west of the Rockies to the highest remaining Pacific seed.
The 2017 season concludes Sunday, November 12, when U SPORTS national champions will be crowned on Canada West soil. This season marks the first time since 2006, both the men's and women's national tournaments will be held by Canada West members, as Thompson Rivers University gets set to host the men's event, and the University of Manitoba hosts the women's tourney.