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Elle Tinkle granted medical hardship waiver

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The senior guard now has one more year of eligibility in her.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Spokane Regional-Gonzaga vs Tennessee James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, senior Elle Tinkle was granted her medical hardship waiver and will be eligible for a fifth-year in the 2016-17 season, the school announced on Thursday.

Tinkle started out strong for the Gonzaga women’s team, averaging 10.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in the first 10 games of the season. She went down with a knee injury that required surgery.

Tinkle going down was the first injury to befell the Lady Zags, who had a disappointing year overall. Tinkle was supposed to take a big leap in her senior year. During her junior season, she averaged 14.9 points per game in conference play and scored a career-high of 26 points against San Diego.

The hype continued this season. Tinkle was on the preseason All-Conference team after she made All-WCC First Team in 2014-15.

Tinkle will provide important senior leadership on a team that will be one of the younger squads in the WCC. She joins Melissa Holland as the only seniors on the team next season.

Says Tinkle on the decision by the West Coast Conference:

First of all, I want to thank the WCC for their ruling, allowing me the opportunity to compete again in this incredible conference, and hopefully finish off my career the right way,” Tinkle said. “This was obviously a difficult year for me dealing with the injury and not being able to compete with my teammates, but I'm thrilled to know I have another year to play the game I love. I will work hard to represent Gonzaga University, our program and our conference, to the best of my abilities on and off the court. I'm beyond excited and ready to get back to work and prepare for next year!