Ava Compagnoni, email@example.com
Coming off a disappointing season, the Women’s Basketball Team was ready to get back out on the court and perform to their utmost abilities this fall. Coach Margaret White worked especially hard to make sure that her team was conditioned and prepared if a season were to come their way soon. Senior 1,000 Point Scorer Aliyah Stephens, guard, a big asset to the team, faced big challenges this fall because of their new practice routine, but says there were benefits. “Practice is definitely a lot different now, especially since basketball is a contact sport. This past fall season we have really narrowed our focus on skill development because of COVID regulations. However, by focusing on the little things now it will only help our team next year when they are, hopefully, able to get together, build team chemistry, and play together again.”
Stephens believes the team really pulled together and looked at the positive side of being able to practice this fall. “Overall, I think we adjusted really well with the guidelines and made it work! I think the team approached practice as something to be grateful for because not many schools allowed teams to practice or get together this fall at all. We were just so grateful to have the chance to get together and take advantage of the time we were given to play the sport we all love. Being together is something we were all so thankful for from the moment we found out we could practice,” she says. While the team adjusted on the court together, they also worked hard to keep their team bond close during these difficult times. Erin Devine, sophomore guard, comments on how the team has kept their relationship close when social distancing rules were heavily enforced on campus, “I definitely feel like our team was able to keep our team bond and relationship close under the new COVID conditions. It was really fun to be back on campus together when we could gather together socially distanced, as well as safely on the court again. Despite how different our season looks, we all really enjoyed being able to spend time and practice together again,” says Devine.
While being able to practice was a huge relief to the team, there were also some challenges they faced along the way. Adjusting to the new conditions took a couple practices to get the hang of. Participating in an irregular season can take some getting used to, sophomore guard Margrett Brown observes: “My biggest challenge this fall was adjusting to the restrictions of an irregular season. Since I can remember, practices were always the same, competitive games and drills that required playing against an opponent. Adjusting to a season without this aspect has been difficult, but there have been positive outcomes as well. This season my team and I have been able to break down the game of basketball and focus on improving our individual skills,” says Brown.
Stephens, along with four other senior players this year, consider their teammates to be family. “Over the last four years at Ursinus this team has been my second family. From the first day at lifts and pick-up games as a freshman I knew I had found my home away from home. We spend so much time together even outside of practices and it just goes to show how close we all are and how much our little family truly means to us” says Stephens. It just goes to show you no matter how small a group is, they can pack a powerful punch.
Hoping all the best for the young women of the Ursinus College Women’s Basketball Team, as well as all the other winter sports as a decision on their season comes closer. Go Bears