The year before they were freshmen, Dani Craig and Delany Schoenberger committed to the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse women’s basketball program.
It was a team that had just gone 7-18 and experienced a coaching change.
Four years later and the Eagles are headed to the NCAA tournament.
UW-L coach Karen Middleton says her joy for the two seniors is the highest.
“Great leaders of example but also team captains,” Middleton said. “They’ve been a part of the constant improvement, but also understanding the urgency, and when you’ve got two seniors that work as hard as they do, it just raises the level of play from everyone.”
Oddly enough, the Eagles, now 19-7, were, perhaps, snubbed from the NCAAs last year with a 22-5 record.
Middleton said that taught them something before this year’s campaign.
“The big challenge was to upgrade our nonconference schedule,” Middleton said. “Our strength of schedule really helped us tremendously, but also the challenges of the WIAC definitely sets us apart.”
At 7 p.m. Friday, the Eagles will play Loras College (23-4) at DePauw University (Greencastle, Ind.).