Editor in Chief
The College of Wooster women’s basketball team got a small glimpse of a safe “normal” this past weekend during their senior night — even if over half of the fans present were in the form of cardboard cutouts.
On Saturday, the women’s basketball team held their annual senior night celebration following their tough loss to Wittenberg with a score of 62-55. The women’s senior class consists only of three seniors — Austrella Balley ’21, Sarah Marion ’21 and Maria Janasko ’21. Although families and outside members of the campus body were not permitted, each senior was allowed to bring two guests from the campus to watch their senior celebration. Although fans are normally not permitted in any circumstance, an exception was made for the seniors; this was allowed in large part due to the close-contact relationship the athletes had with the guests present, who were either professors, faculty members or roommates.
For the first time this year, one side of the bleachers was opened to hold nine fans along with cardboard cutouts of the seniors’ families, pets and closest relatives. Spectators were expected to follow all masking guidelines and were seated more than six-feet apart from each other to safely watch the game. The bleachers were even open for President Bolton to sit and show her appreciation to the basketball seniors.
Although pandemic protocols will only allow the women’s team a total of eight games this year, the seniors are hopeful they will be able to sneak in a few successful wins by the end of the season and finish their College of Wooster basketball careers on a strong note. Although this year has been anything but ideal, the seniors still cherish the time they have had this year with their team,even if it has been cut short.
“The Wooster women’s basketball team has meant so much to me over the past four years,” stated Janasko. “The team has always been my home away from home and I wouldn’t have wanted to be on this ride with anyone else. This team, along with the coaching staff, has made my four years nothing but amazing.”
Despite the challenges all students have faced this past year, attitude has been such a core aspect of maintaining great relationships on athletic teams, and the women’s basketball team is no exception. “I think one thing that this team has really tried to focus on during this difficult time is positive energy and having fun despite the circumstances,” Janasko added. “If I am having a hard day, I know I can come into practice and see all my teammates and my day will completely turn around. We have such a great bond as a unit, and I think that is something that is rare for such a big group.”
Balley agreed, saying that “even though we have to follow very strict rules, the two hours we get every day for practice have made senior year just a little more bearable.”
Marion, rounding out the senior trio, made sure to mention that their involvement on the team the past four years has partially consisted of being role models for younger players. “My advice to them is simply this: don’t blink. As soon as you do — you’ve graduated.”