Historic season abruptly halted
By Jalen Boyd
With the spread of COVID-19, or Coronavirus, the Women’s Cinderella story has come to a disappointing end. No glass slipper. No Prince Charming. Their record-breaking season turned back into a pumpkin.
On Mar. 12 the NCAA, in an unprecedented move, decided to cancel all men’s and women’s national tournaments in all three divisions. The Duhawk women landed in Holland, Michigan last Thursday and after finishing practice found out the heartbreaking news.
“We all circled up, and just tried to be as positive as possible,” said sophomore Madison Brewster. “Though this stopped our goal we still couldn’t let the news take away what we accomplished.”
This year’s Duhawk women’s team was the first in school history to win a national tournament game and make the Sweet 16. With a 25-4 overall, and 13-3 ARC record, they ranked as high as number 11 in the country. The women put together a historic year and will go down as, if not the best team, at least one of the best teams in school history.
Having four players chosen as All-Conference and one All-Academic player, knocking off ranked opponents left and right, this team had what it took to win it all. With great leadership from Coach Justin Heinzen and his staff, these women were able to run like a well-oiled machine – until the virus broke that machine down.
“He is our rock,” Brewster said. “Whenever times got tough we were always able to rely on coach’s calm demeanor.”
Still feeling dejected on the way back to Dubuque, family and friends greeted the team waving posters with the message, “You are OUR champions!” With tears of both joy and sadness, the team was able to enjoy this special moment with the ones they loved.
Though the Coronavirus ended a special season, it will never be able to compromise the special bond this Cinderella team built together. And with high expectations for next year, the Duhawks hope history will repeat itself. Perhaps next season they will get the chance to see if the slipper will fit.