MU
Oak Leaves

February  24, 2017

Senior

Senior Jenifer Lee passes to a teammate.


Spartans Wrap Season with Win


Maddie Jo Shultz

Finishing up an exciting 2016–17 season, the ladies in black and gold played three games last week. The team traveled to Terre Haute in a battle against Rose-Hulman on Saturday, Feb. 11, hosted Defiance College on Wednesday, and welcomed Transylvania University to the MU campus for the Senior Day game on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The Spartans played valiantly against the Fightin’ Engineers after having defeating them earlier in the season. “They’re the conference champs and only have one conference loss—us, back in January!” said sophomore center Maddy Minehart. “We are the only team in the conference to beat Rose-Hulman, so that is something to hang our hats on.”

On Feb. 11, after making a steady series of shots throughout the four quarters, the visiting Spartans fell to their Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference rivals with a final score of 34-65.

This season has not been without its challenges. Minehart adds that the team has had to overcome a lot of adversity. “We had a lot of injuries and every player was counted on to execute their role,” she said. “We had a lot of growing up to do, and we rose to the challenge.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 15, the Spartans faced off against the Defiance Yellow Jackets at the Stauffer-Wolfe Arena. With a slow start, the Manchester ladies trailed Defiance 4 to 18 at the end of the first quarter, but rallied back into the lead with 22 points scored in the second quarter, leaving the black and gold only 8 points behind at halftime. The Yellow Jackets kept their lead, however, and with a similar 22-point rally in the fourth quarter, Defiance scored a hard-fought conference win. The Spartans, despite sometimes struggling to make shots, never gave up and played hard.

The Spartans did not disappoint on Saturday, Feb. 18. They triumphed against visiting Transylvania University from Lexington, KY, culminating this season with a total of 9 wins and 16 losses (8-10 in the conference).

Before the game, in true Senior Day style, guard Jenifer Lee was honored for the four years she has played on the team. Lee was the only senior this season, and notes that she started out with five fellow first-years. “Now it is down to just me,” she said. “It’s not easy to juggle academics and sports, each takes a lot of dedication and hard work.” Lee wants her younger teammates to realize that the years go by quickly. “Every moment counts and before they know it, they will be seniors getting ready to play their last game,” she said.

Lee’s last game at Manchester was certainly one to remember. The senior guard was the leader in spirit and in score for her team, rallying her teammates and tallying up a total of 12 points. After volleying the score evenly back and forth in the first half, the Spartans and the Pioneers were tied 49-49 at the start of the last quarter, but Manchester managed to take the lead and capture the win with a final score of 65-61.

As the team bids farewell to a senior player, the first-years prepare to take the same journey as Lee did. “This year we have had many ups and downs but our final game just showed our love for the game of basketball,” first-year Haley Farris said. “We fought and played hard, and it was really fun to be able to pull it all together and win for Jen.”