The Men’s and Women’s basketball teams earned second place finishes in the UAA standings this past weekend, as they celebrated their senior nights on Saturday in the Palestra against the Emory Eagles.
Despite their equivalent finishes, only UR Women’s Basketball (URWB) will continue into postseason.
URMBB’s Comeback Not Enough
The Yellowjackets and the Eagles went into the men’s game on Saturday with identical records of 17–7 overall and 10–3 record in the UAA. Emory broke away in the last few minutes of the second half to defeat the ‘Jackets 84–75, clinching the UAA title and an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament.
Freshman Michael Mangan led the ‘Jackets with a career-high 20 points.
“Coming up just short, it’s hard to have perspective, but on the whole it was a great season,” head coach Luke Flockerzi said. “Winning 10 games in our conference, arguably the toughest conference in our league, is a really big accomplishment.”
Peretz, Seltzer, Arno Honored
Much of the team’s success this season came from the contributions of the seniors who were recognized on Saturday. Dylan Peretz, Jared Seltzer, and Ben Arno were all integral to the team’s success this season.
“Dylan has been a stable, consistent, reliable player for us and he has given our team a lot of stability,” Flockerzi said. “We could always count on him and he played a key role for us, especially this season.” Peretz scored 15 points and had 12 rebounds for the ‘Jackets on Saturday.
Arno, who spent the past two years behind the scenes as the team manager, was given the opportunity to be on the team this year as a result of his hard work and dedication. “I have many memories with my teammates and coaches that will last a lifetime,” Arno said.
Seltzer, three-time Men’s UAA Player of the Week, has seen the hard work he put in over the past four years pay off this season. “Personally I think I have grown not only as a basketball player but as a person in these last four years,” the senior forward said. “Having the honor of being named a captain this year really makes you think about your actions and decisions twice, because you are not only representing yourself but your team and program.”
URWB Moves Past Emory, Tournament Ahead
The ‘Jackets played solidly against their eagle counterparts, taking advantage of Emory’s numerous turnovers to win by a final score of 66–49. The Palestra was charged with emotion and the crowd was on their feet in the last few minutes as the seniors were subbed out for the final time of the regular season.
“It was an incredible moment,” assistant coach Kaitlin Donahoe said. “For them, that win was great but I think what they’re most excited about is the ability to keep playing.”
Lewis, Kibling, Hurley, Guerrieri Praised
Each of URWB’s seniors played a unique role in the team’s success this season. For senior Emily Lewis, this meant playing selflessly to contribute to the overall success of the team. “I’ve tried to make my experience this year less about me and more about doing everything I can do to make sure others have a good experience,” Lewis said.
Donahoe recognized her ability to push her teammates in practice, giving them the opportunity to get better. “Emily is genuinely happy when the team wins, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean it was due to her contribution directly on the court,” Donahoe said. “To have that presence on any team is important.”
Kayla Kibling leads by example, performing consistently and effectively since day one. Also an on-court leader, Kelsey Hurley demonstrates her athleticism in competition. “She provides us with a great spark off the bench,” said Donahoe.
Tylar Guerrieri not only provides consistency on defense but also takes charge off the court. “Tylar is definitely our vocal leader,” said Donahoe. “She’s a very organized person, making sure everything is ready to go and everyone is in the right place.”
“We’re Better Than THAT” Unveiled at the Palestra
In light of recent racially charged comments on social media and concerns voiced by minority students, the University launched its anti-racism campaign at the doubleheader on Saturday. Although the fan section seemed to engage the campaign by sporting free t-shirts, buttons, and stickers featuring the “We’re Better Than THAT” slogan, the real message may not have gotten through to the students.
“I think some people didn’t know what the message was,” freshman Elizabeth Thomas said. “They definitely could have advertised it more clearly.”