It’s not the colour they were hoping for but you won’t see any University of Saskatchewan Huskies women’s basketball players throwing their silver medals into the stands.
The Huskies lost the U Sports championship game 68-49 to the University of Carleton Ravens on Sunday and although they are disappointed in the result they’re also tremendously proud of what they achieved this season.
“I’m obviously so happy. The fact we were here in this game is such an accomplishment to begin with,” fifth-year forward Megan Lindquist said.
The Huskies were seeded sixth in the national tournament after losing the Canada West championship game to the University of Regina Cougars one week prior. They upset the Atlantic Conference champion Acadia University Axewomen in the quarter-finals before beating the Cougars in a thrilling semifinal.
But in the final the Dogs were ultimately outclassed by a more experienced Ravens squad that hadn’t lost a game all season.
“They showed why they’re a bunch of fifth-year players running around out there compared to a lot of our second- and third-years. They just have a maturity to their game that ours don’t have quite yet,” Huskies head coach Lisa Thomaidis said.
Saskatchewan’s second-place finish was made even more impressive by the fact that two starters were playing with significant injuries.
Shooting guard Sabine Dukate, a second team All-Canadian, will have shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum while point guard Libby Epoch played all but six minutes at nationals on a bad ankle that forced her to miss the Canada West championship and every team practice in the week leading up to the U Sports tournament.
Another reason many Huskies were smiling despite the tough loss is their roster. With most of the team’s core made up of second- and third-year players their championship window isn’t closing any time soon.
However it is the end of the line for a pair of Huskies. Madeline Humbert and Megan Lindquist may not have finished their U Sports careers with a national title but they will always have the one they captured in 2016.
“All of a sudden five years has gone by and it’s been a crazy ride. I’m just thankful to have been a part of this program and everything that’s come along with it,” Lindquist said.