Dixon grows as team flourishes

From rookie to veteran, Abby Dixon has stepped up as a leader on the court during an undefeated 14-0 season

Abby Dixon during the 2015-16 season.
Abby Dixon during the 2015-16 season.
Credit: 
Journal File Photo

When Abby Dixon decided to focus her sights on basketball over competitive soccer as a 16-year-old, multi-sport athlete, she couldn’t have anticipated the success that her basketball career would bring. 

A fast-paced, team-oriented sport, basketball enticed Dixon, whose strengths lay in her speed and defensive skill. From that moment onwards, basketball would become a focal point in Dixon’s life.

A British Columbia native, Dixon was heavily recruited by west coast universities. However, her time spent playing on the B.C. provincial team is what would secure her place as a basketball player at Queen’s.

At the 2012 National Championships hosted in New Brunswick, Dixon got her first introduction to the Gaels. Interested in Queen’s for it’s academic reputation, Dixon reached out to head coach Dave Wilson. At nationals, he came out to watch her play and subsequently invited Dixon to visit Queen’s.

After signing for Queen’s  in 2013, she didn’t know what to expect.

“When I came into the women’s basketball program in first year, I didn’t have many expectations for myself,” she said in retrospect. “I wasn’t sure how I would fit, but I ended up getting minutes and contributing every game.”

Four years later, she’s found her role. 

In Queen’s 14 wins, she’s averaged 9.5 points per game to go with 2.4 steals. As a defensive player who doubles as an efficient shooter, Dixon has helped the women’s basketball team stand at the top of the OUA East and remain the only undefeated basketball team in U Sports — in both the women’s and men’s divisions.  

Dixon attributes this achievement to the team’s tight-knit camaraderie as a small roster of 15 players. “As a team, we really feed off of each other. We know what everyone can do and we lean on one another to fulfill a specific role on the team.”

For the Gaels, confidence has been another key to overcoming close games and tough overtimes. “We all contribute and have confidence in each player on the floor,” Dixon said. 

With a 14-0 season accompanied by being ranked fourth nationally, most would be surprised to learn that none of the Gaels players are currently listed  as the top 50 scorers in the CIS. “We have a true team dynamic,” Dixon said, reflecting on the top scores list.         

It’s the “true team” mentality that has been a rallying point for the Gaels and undoubtedly contributed to a recent milestone win for the team. In a 70-68 victory over the McMaster Marauders -— the previously number one ranked team in the nation — the Gaels secured the number four spot in the country, the highest in program history.

For Dixon, beating the Marauders is among one of her greatest moments of the season so far. “Knowing I’d never won in that gym before while standing on the free throw line in the last second of the game was a big moment,” Dixon said. “I knew we were going to win at that point in the game and it was a great feeling.”

With the big win, the Gaels kept pace with their momentous stride and unfaltering confidence. The team secured another set of back-to-back wins over Nipissing and Laurentian this past weekend. 

With Ryerson in their sights this weekend, Dixon noted the importance of maintaining the same style of play that has rewarded the Gaels thus far. “We will continue to play our game and get pumped up to face Ryerson.” A familiar opponent, the Gaels saw an overtime victory against the Rams during their last match-up in January.

As an experienced player, Dixon exudes a cool confidence, while retaining an unyielding competitive focus. 

“We’ve played some close games, but haven’t encountered much adversity yet. As an undefeated team, experiencing a loss and bouncing back could be an obstacle for us.”

Defending their undefeated title remains a point of pride for the Gaels. For Dixon, the 14-0 run comes as no surprise. “We have worked hard as a team for the streak,” she said. “We earned it.”  

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