VICTORIA- The University of Victoria Vikes women’s basketball team are pleased to announce the commitment of forward Peyton Connolly and guard Tana Pankratz for the 2019-20 season.

Pankratz, who hails from Abbotsford, B.C., will make the move to the island next fall to join the Vikes.

“Tana was a key piece to this year’s recruiting class and we are incredibly excited to welcome her to the Vikes basketball program,” said head coach Dani Sinclair, who is currently in her seventh season leading the Vikes. “She is one of the top players coming out of B.C. and still has so much potential to grow as a player moving forward.”

Connolly continues a long line of Hamilton, Ont. players to move out west over the last decade to join the Vikes following the footsteps of recent Canada West all-stars Jenna Bugiardini and Amira Giannattasio.

“Peyton is a tough and gritty competitor,” stated Sinclair. “She will bring a lot of experience to our team having played in the OSBA prep school league. We see her as a player who will be able to contribute for us right away both on and off the court.”

Eighteen-year old Connolly has spent eight seasons with the Transway Basketball program and one year playing with Lincoln Prep, a high performance program for top-tier Onatraio student-athletes. The five-foot-ten forward has won five Ontario provincial championships and was named a second team all-star in the JUEL of Ontario provincial championship season in 2016.

“I had a chance to visit the campus for this first time this past summer and immediately fell in love with the school,” commented Connolly. “I am so excited to have a chance to further both my basketball and academic career in Victoria. I can’t wait to get my freshman year started in such an amazing facility with such an experienced coaching staff.”

Pankratz played for the B.C. Elite program during the spring from 2015-2017 before she took her talents to play with B.C. United in 2018. The six-foot-one guard has also spent time playing with Yale Secondary, where she won multiple individual awards.

“When I first met Dani I knew right away that this is where I wanted to spend my university career,” said Pankratz. “I look forward to the coaching staff at UVic pushing me to become a stronger competitor.”

Both Connolly and Pankratz plan to study education when they arrive on campus next September.

“I feel the school has everything I will need to be successful,” said Connonlly. “Being on the island, the community and the academics the university has to offer are just a few things I am looking forward to when I move out to Victoria.”

The pair will join the Vikes squad in September 2019.

“I have heard nothing but good things about the education program at UVic,” said Pankratz. “The program allows me to start my practicum in my first year and with the great professors in the program I know will be set up to succeed when I begin my professional career.”

Full Name: Peyton Connolly
Current Age: 18
Position: Forward
Intended Major/program: Education
Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario
Previous Teams: Transway Basketball, Lincoln Prep Basketball

Previous team placings/tournaments/awards
-Five-time Ontario provincial champion
-2016 JUEL Prep provincial league champion

Peyton Connolly

Full Name: Tana Pankratz
Current Age: 17
Position: Guard
Intended Major/program: Education
Hometown: Abbotsford, B.C.
Previous Teams: B.C. Elite, B.C. United

Previous team placings/tournaments/awards
-1stPlace at G.W Graham Showcase
-1stPlace at Yale Secondary Invitational tournament
-1stPlace at Abbotsford Police tournament
-5that Fraser Valley Championships

Previous Individual Awards
-Junior Team MVP (Freshman year)
-Senior Team Defensive Player of the Year (Sophomore year)
-2017 Yale Secondary Invitational Tournament MVP
-G.W. Graham Showcase Tournament MVP
– Second Team All-Star at 2018 senior girls Fraser Valley Championship

Tana Pankratz