This weekend ended the regular season of basketball this year at Sonoma State. It ended a couple careers of players on SSU’s women’s team as well. Seniors Kristina Fahey and Natalie Del Carlo played their final two collegiate games at home in the Wolves’ Den on Friday and Saturday night. The Seawolves hung tough for most of the game on Friday, but eventually fell to the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters, 48-45.
The gym was quiet; most people were probably kept away by the rain. That didn’t help the Seawolves gain any momentum as they found themselves down 18-4 with 11:40 left in the first half. Sophomore Tanner Adams hit a deep three-pointer that seemed to spark some life into SSU, just after head coach Mark Rigby took a timeout to halt the Otters fast start to this game. A few more made three-pointers and good defense by the Seawolves kept them within striking distance at halftime, only trailing 26-21.
After digging themselves into an early double-digit deficit, most teams can only fight to claw back into games to make them close. Getting over the hump to take the lead or win the game is very difficult for any team at any level. The Seawolves fell victim to that on Friday. They cut the Otter lead to as few as one point on a few occasions in the second half, but could never make a stop or a shot when they needed to gain the lead. Despite the loss, Fahey put up a double-double with a career-high in points (22), and matched a career-high in rebounds (11).
“It felt great. I had been struggling with my shot this year and I just felt like my hard work was paying off. It felt good to just succeed,” said Fahey.
Saturday night was the last game of Del Carlo’s and Fahey’s college careers at SSU. Del Carlo also had a senior send-off last year because she was previously a four-year water polo player at Sonoma State before playing basketball this year while finishing her undergraduate degree. With having only one year to play with this set of teammates, Del Carlo was able to build a bond with them just as she was throughout her playing time with the water polo team.
“Even in just one year I’ve really grown to respect my coaches and teammates. I know that I’ve made some life longfriends,” said Del Carlo.
In her last game as a Seawolf, Sonoma State played the Pioneers of Cal State East Bay and found itself in another early hole, being down 27-8 with just 4:56 left to play in the first half. The Pioneer lead would stretch all the way to 38-15 by halftime.
The second half fight that the Seawolves had in them on Friday night didn’t appear on Saturday night. Though they only lost the second half by a total of five points, the 23-point halftime deficit ended up being too much to handle. Sonoma State lost its last game of the 2013-2014 season to the Pioneers by the score of 67-39.
The players weren’t the only ones to learn some things from this year, as first-year assistant coach Aly Conway also took some lessons out of this season. She was once a four-year basketball player at SSU, and saw some differences between being a player and a coach.
“It’s a lot different being a player then going to coach. You have so much more off-the-court stuff you need to work out,” said Conway. “It was a big learning experience and I’m really glad I got the opportunity to do it.”
The Seawolves finished the season with a 4-22 record, 3-19 in conference play.