During the weekend of February 8th, the Women’s Basketball team added two more wins to their record by beating Long Island University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. Coming off a loss to Long Island University the week before, Merrimack knew they had something to prove.
But while traveling to these two games, the team experienced a terribly frightening accident. During the ride from North Andover to Long Island, their bus traveled off the road and crashed. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries caused by the crash. As one can imagine, the team and coaching staff were in shock trying to process what had just happened.
The coaching staff held a meeting and presented the team with the option to go home back to Merrimack. Despite being shaken up by the accident, the team came together and decided to stay and play.
Kate Mager, a sophomore on the team, explained, “The team as a whole wanted to play. Although we were shaken up, we were all extremely grateful that nobody had been injured. We had come this far, so we wanted to go ahead and play the games we were scheduled to play.”
Although LIU beat them the week prior, Mager explained, “We were all ready to go. The best part about our conference is that we play every team twice for the most part. It was our revenge game. We made adjustments from the last time that we played them and we all believed we were going to win.”
Going into that Saturday’s game versus LIU, Mager described the team’s energy before getting onto the court,“To be honest, we were all happy to be alive. I think there was a lot of anxious energy. We were grateful that we got to wake up and play the game that we all love together. Coach gave us a great pregame speech. She told us that we have a tough group of players and we had all faced adversity within the past 24 hours, but we were going to ‘Win Anyway.’”
The Warriors did just that and played their hearts out to win 66-63. Denia Davis-Stewart, Kate Mager, and Kaylee Thomas led the team in points, but the whole team contributed to the win. Senior Denia Davis-Stewart had an amazing game with 16 points and 17 rebounds. This win brought the team to fourth place in the North East Conference with a 7-4 record. The following Monday, the team played Fairleigh Dickinson. The Warriors beat the Knights 84-66.
To win not only one game, but two games after such a traumatic experience shows the true strength of the Merrimack Women’s Basketball program. They put away all hardships and just played the game they love.