Bronx, NY - The senior days are always filled with emotion, no doubt. We bid the seniors farewell with well wishes for the future. The emotion comes with the territory. Sunday at Rose Hill, Fordham women celebrated their Senior day. Celebration is the proper term to use in this case. As much as the fans and alumni are sad to see the departing seniors played their last game at Rose Hill, the celebration centers on their accomplishments.
That final contest was a regular season-ending meeting with Davidson. The visiting Wildcats came in struggling in the midst of a lengthy losing streak. They fell behind by double figures early, battled back and took a mid-second-half lead.
Fordham regrouped and a few key plays courtesy of a senior, Emily Tapio, allowed the Rams to regain the lead and seal the 54-46 verdict. The regular season had ended at 19-10 overall with an impressive 11-5 mark in the Atlantic Ten. Next up, the conference postseason tournament, of which Fordham is defending champion.
It is not uncommon for a senior day to take on another theme or subplot of its own. That being the case, the emphasis on Senior Day on this snowy afternoon centered on celebration. The senior members were part of a complete reversal of fortunes for women’s basketball on Rose Hill. They arrived with Coach Stephanie Gaitley. They bought into their mentor’s vision, worked hard and over the past three seasons, have a WNIT, Atlantic Ten title and NCAA appearance to show for it.
At a postgame reception before alumni and friends, the four senior players spoke to those gathered. Their tone was not of sadness, but the joys of their team accomplishments. A celebration. They also reminded everyone there was the conference tournament and most likely more. Their legacy at the Jesuit school firmly intact, and still another chapter forthcoming.
Pregame, Fordham administrative assistant Katelyn Linney goes over a few details with women's basketball sports information director Chris Strauch:
The seniors, their families, and coach Stephanie Gaitley during Senior Day festivities:
Emily Tapio thinks shot, then looks to pass:
Tiffany Ruffin sets up the Ram offense:
Davidson coach Michelle Savage studying the action:
Fordham's Hannah Missry gets a break during a free throw:
Basketball ballet, as Emily Tapio closes out to defend a Davidson attempt:
During a visit to the basketball offices, yours truly with the 2014 Atlantic Ten championship trophy:
The four seniors greet alumni and friends at the postgame reception. From left to right: Taryn Durant, Emily Tapio, Tiffany Ruffin and Liz Milner: