Rollins’ Women’s Basketball team celebrated its last home game of the 2020 season last week, and its seniors enjoyed their curtain call in front of their home crowd.
Class of 2020 seniors Tianna Rosser, Jaylyn Harrison, Denise Daniels, Kylee Gregos, and Chandler Hall celebrated a victorious senior night with a successful 69-50 win over the Palm Beach Atlantic Sailfish.
For the team’s five seniors, hearing that game-ending buzzer was a bitter-sweet moment.
Emotions stormed the arena as the Rollins seniors took the court with their friends.
“It’s really exciting being able to see these girls play at home for the last time,” said fan Gabby Tanner (‘21). “I love all these girls, and for the last home game to be a win was the best part of the day.”
Though the game was the center of everyone’s attention, the seniors also reminisced on their most beloved memories at Rollins.
“My favorite memory from my four years on the women’s basketball team would be traveling to Puerto Rico,” said Hall. “It was such a fun experience filled with laughs that I will never forget.”
For the seniors, it is team chemistry that gives meaning to their memories and motivation for every competition.
“My favorite part about today was being able to spend this time with the people closest to me,” said Daniels.
Rosser, Daniels, and Harrison started for the Tars, with Harrison setting the tone within minutes as she drained the team’s first 3-point jump shot.
Harrison drove the Tars’ offense, as she averaged 11.6 points per game. She also led the team with 75 assists, but she is not the only player who pulls impressive statistics.
Fellow teammate, Daniels, has her fair share of superlatives as she leads the team with seven rebounds per game, which accompanies her 6.7 game point average.
Rollins hopes to keep up its momentum as it continues to strengthen its relationships over postseason jitters.
“We are each other’s best friends and are never seen not having a good time,” said Hall. “I feel like we are just an overall infectiously fun group of girls.”
For these Tars, setting the example for players to come has been easy. Their advice for incoming freshmen and rising seniors ultimately boils down to two factors: hard work and fun.
Rachel Lia (‘21) has taken this to heart, as she makes exceptional strides toward her senior year, leading the game with 11 points.
Lia expressed just how much of an impact the seniors have made on her.
“This year’s seniors mean everything to me,” she said. “They are my biggest inspirations, and I’m so proud of the women that they have become over the last 4 years.”
Averaging nine points per game, Lia shared the lessons she learned from the seniors and the mindset that has earned her a starting spot alongside them.
“It’s always my goal to make sure I play controlled and focused,” said Lia. “Lately, I’ve been trying to avoid mental mistakes.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 26, the team will have had one more opportunity to better their chances for a postseason opportunity. The Tars took a trip to St. Petersburg, where they took on Eckerd College.
For several of the seniors, making a postseason appearance would not be their first.
In 2016-2017, the Tars held a 22-8 record. Along with 15 other D2 teams, they headed to the NCAA South Region tournament.
This year’s postseason details will be determined by next week, after the last in-season games wrap up. But the seniors know that some things are more important than the playoffs.
Hall said, “Live in the moment and love your teammates because they are the people who will make it all worthwhile.”