Coming off of a winning season, the Lady Warriors are trying to make history yet again. However, due to the reality of COVID-19, scheduling games is not as easy as it used to be.
For all of the athletes at Westmont and other colleges throughout the nation, finding games to put on the team’s schedule has been quite a hurdle to jump. Even after the game is scheduled, there are many safety precautions that must happen so the teams can play. Specifically, both of the competing teams must go through multiple rounds of COVID-19 testing. Even with the many presented challenges, the women’s basketball team has been constantly fighting to maintain their schedule this year.
Recently, they had the opportunity to play Simpson University on Dec. 4 in the Murchison Gym. As the women were preparing to play the Red Hawks, the game was cancelled because a player on Simpson’s team was showing symptoms for the COVID-19 virus. This was a letdown for the whole team.
“Hearing the news that another game was cancelled was pretty frustrating,” said Gabby Stoll, a junior forward on the team. “However, we are prepared for things like this to happen.”
Junior Iyree Jarrett talked about how this cancellation has become a source of motivation for the team.
“Due to COVID-19, our schedule has been changing super rapidly and our normal preseason games were all cancelled. Our schedule is constantly moving around, but I think because of all the uncertainty, our team values the opportunities we get to play even more!” Iyree continued, “Our goal is to stay focused in practice and still work hard to be the best we can be.”
Although the game was cancelled on Dec. 4, they had the opportunity to play against Pepperdine University the following day. After a hard fight in Malibu, the Warriors fell to the Waves, 68-56. Even with the loss, the women had a positive attitude.
“The Pepperdine game was a good eye-opener for our team and what we need to work on. It was fun to finally get back on the court, though!” said freshman Aleena Cook.
Now the women are on the road again, ready to take on UC Irvine’s NCAA Division 1 team in an exhibition match.
Freshman Laila Sanchez is eager to play the Anteaters in Irvine.
“We’ve talked a lot about UCI and have prepped well in the past two days and are really excited. Our loss against Pepperdine is a big part of our motivation going into this game and we look to respond with a dub.”
The season for these women and many other athletes at Westmont is still up in the air, yet the drive to compete and represent Westmont has not gone away.