The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s basketball team is having one of its best seasons in the program’s recent history. The team swept the University of Alberta Pandas in two straight games in a quarter-final matchup this past weekend to advance to their first Canada West semi-final since 1995.
“It’s crazy. Like I don’t even know what to say about it,” Pronghorns guard/forward Katie Keith said. “We’ve just worked so hard to get here and now that we’re hear it’s kind of unbelievable.”
It’s a breakthrough year for the program, which has emerged as one of the Canada West elite’s in the 2018-2019 season.
The rise to prominence has a little bit more meaning for fifth-year guard Danielle Fritzke, who can remember the dark days in 2015-2016, when the team had one win all season.
“It’s so hard to believe,” Fritzke said. “It feels like it was forever ago, but at the same time it feels like it was just yesterday and I’m just so proud of the program from where we’ve come.”
In the semi-final, Fritzke and the ‘horns will face a Saskatchewan Huskies, a team that beat them handily in a weekend set in early January. Since those games though, the Pronghorns have rattled off wins in 10 of 11 games and are one of the hottest teams in Canada West basketball.
“We feel like we’re a different team than we were when we went up there in January,” interim head coach Dave Waknuk said. “The confidence is high with this group and I think that a lot of times playoffs can get you through those (tough) moments.”
WATCH: In Global Lethbridge’s weekend sports recap, the Lethbridge Hurricanes face the top team in the Western Hockey League, the Lethbridge Kodiaks men’s volleyball team suffers its first loss and the University of Lethbridge basketball teams advance in the Canada West playoffs. (Aired Feb. 11, 2019)
Fritzke said this is the most fun she’s had playing basketball with the ‘horns and hopes the journey isn’t finished quite yet.
“This is a great way to end my career here and I really hope we make it to the finals and then go to nationals,” Fritzke said. “But it’s definitely a great feeling to come from my first year here where I was one and 31 (including exhibition play) and then end on this note.”
The Pronghorns open their best of three playoff series with the Saskatchewan Huskies Thursday at 6 p.m. in Saskatoon.