Senior night is a big deal in the world of high school and collegiate athletics. It is the accumulation of four year’s worth of blood, sweat and tears put into creating a successful team. The Geneseo women’s basketball team honored its five seniors for their careers and contributions to the program on Saturday Feb. 14. Along with a lengthy list of accomplishments, the seniors were introduced to the crowd, after which they hugged their teammates and were met by their families at half court. They held up photos from their time at Geneseo and a photo of the team. It was a special moment for all in attendance.
When this group of graduating seniors first walked on campus four years ago, none of them knew each other well. Senior captains forward Shannon McGinnis and guard Biz Reinhardt had actually met at an All-Star game in Rochester, but for the most part, the teammates came in alone. The seniors were all quick to emphasize that their success on the court can be attributed to how close they have become.
“Even though it was senior night and we were getting recognized for all of our accomplishments, it was more about spending that game with my seniors and celebrating all we have done in four years,” McGinnis said. “It still has not hit me yet that I only have a few weeks left playing with people who have been a big part of my time at Geneseo.”
The Knights defeated SUNY Oneonta 65-52 to notch their 12th straight victory, but it wasn’t as decisive of a victory as many of the wins this season. At the half, Geneseo only led 28-26, but was able to outscore the Red Dragons 37-26 in the second half to come away with the win. As senior captains Reinhardt and forward Lea Sobieraski noted, the game was only half of what made that night one to remember.
“Our teammates, coaches and families made it special,” Sobieraski said. “They went above and beyond to recognize our hard work over the past four years, and to share it with everyone is something I’ll never forget.”
“We always look at each game as the most important one of the season, which is why we have been so successful,” Reinhardt said. “Even though it was senior night, I took it as just another game we have to win. Having that mindset and the motivation to get the job done made it a truly memorable night.”
The Knights were able to clinch home-court advantage for the SUNYAC Tournament with a 72-59 win over SUNY Oswego on Tuesday Feb. 17. Senior captain center Katie Peterson admitted that she wouldn’t want this run to be with any other team.
“Winning the conference tournament would be a really great way to go out, especially because we have had the same group of girls for the past two years,” Peterson said. “For us seniors, it isn’t about the five of us, but rather our team as a whole getting the job done.”