The five senior members of the CSU women’s basketball team will say their goodbyes to their home crowd and home court tonight at Moby Arena.
One of the most touted recruiting classes in program history, Ashley Augspurger, Katie Borton, Jackie Campbell, Lisa Narkiewicz and Shannon Strecker will be honored before the Rams square off with the San Diego State Aztecs.
Ironically, the Rams’ biggest challenge in the game might be overcoming the emotions brought out by pre-game ceremonies.
CSU is playing its best basketball of the season, having won five of six games, including 15 straight home conference games. The Rams are looking to continue their revenge tour against the Aztecs, who defeated the Rams 60-47 in San Diego earlier this season, but first will have to endure the hugs and flowers that come with being honored before the game.
“We’ve all had basketball be such a huge part of our lives since we were five or six years old,” said Campbell, a Chesterton, Ind., native. “For it all to be coming to an end is scary, but it’s also exciting to look forward to the next phase of life. I think we all have a lot of mixed emotions going on.”
Head coach Chris Denker said his experience with the seniors has been beyond anything he could have expected. Arriving in June, Denker worried he and his staff might not have enough time to really get to know the seniors. Instead, here in March, Denker is worried about balancing his team’s attitudes on what undoubtedly will be an emotional night.
“Everyone’s going to be emotional, but we just have to remember there is a game to play,” Denker said. “But everyone wants those seniors to go out on a high. We’re playing well. I’m confident we won’t have too much trouble getting fired up.”
At least one Ram intends to have her focus entirely on the game come tip time.
“I’m challenging myself not to cry, because I can cry afterwards,” said Campbell. “Otherwise, if I get all teary-eyed, I’m going to suck. We can’t lose to San Diego State on Senior Night.”