HELENA — Roughly a week after three of her fellow seniors decided to take advantage of their extra year of eligibility and return for another season, Carroll’s Christine Denny made the same decision.
“It was definitely a big decision,” Denny said. “I was contemplating whether I wanted to play or not just because I’ll be getting my Masters next year and it’s just a lot on my plate. Ultimately it came down to we didn’t get the year we wanted this year. I’m just really excited for another opportunity with all the seniors and all the girls. I think we have a lot to look forward to in this next year.”
Denny, who will graduate from Carroll in May, has already enrolled in the college’s Master of Accountancy program and plans to begin that in the fall. On the court, Denny returns as a three-time All-Conference selection and three-time All-American with over 1,150 career points to her credit.
While Denny took a little bit longer than her teammates to make her decision, family members, as well as Saints head coach Rachelle Sayers, made it clear whose choice it was to return or not. In the end, just like with Danielle Wagner, Jaidyn Lyman and Emma Madsen, the idea of one more season playing the game of basketball was just too good to pass up.
“She didn’t really try to sway my decision,” Denny said of her talks with Sayers. “She just wanted me to choose what was best for me, and obviously she hoped that included playing another year of basketball at Carroll. My family was kinda the same way. They wanted me to do what I felt was the right thing to do. There was just a big part of me that couldn’t say I was done for good and ultimately that’s what led me to decide to come back.”
The Saints have won three Frontier Conference Regular Season Championships and three Conference Tournament Championships with this current crop of seniors. Denny was Carroll’s third-leading scorer last season, averaging 12.3 points per game on 46.1 percent shooting to go along with 6.5 rebounds per contest.
For her career, Denny will enter her final season 15th on the Saints’ all-time scoring leaderboard and 10th all-time in rebounding with 594 career boards. She is also less than 20 games away from becoming, along with Wagner and Lyman, the most tenured player in Carroll women’s basketball history.
“Our goals haven’t necessarily changed from in the past,” Denny said. “We felt like we kinda underachieved this year losing out in Lewiston before making it to those final rounds in Sioux City. We’re definitely looking to make a bigger run in March next season. Individually, I just want to play the best basketball I’ve ever played in my life and really have a lot more fun doing it. I’m hoping this fifth year gives me an opportunity to really be happy with how my career has gone at Carroll.”
With Denny’s decision now official, that means four of the five seniors on Carroll’s roster have elected to return for the 2021-22 season. Molly McDermott, who plans to complete her degree at Carroll and pursue graduate school, is the lone exception.
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