It’s a question that UIndy student-athletes, like thousands of their peers across the country, couldn’t help but grapple with in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic upended all our lives starting in mid-March and forced a number of tough decisions, including the NCAA’s call to cancel its remaining winter championships and the balance of its spring schedules. Though the decision surely saved an untold number of lives, it left UIndy Greyhounds wondering what could have been.
What if the men’s basketball team had been able to host the NCAA DII Midwest Regional, an honor it earned for the first time in more than 20 years?
What if the swimming & diving teams had been able to build on their successful opening day at the NCAA DII Championships and see the national meet to fruition?
What if UIndy’s five national qualifiers in wrestling and three in indoor track & field were able to showcase their talents on a national stage?
Then there were the spring teams, not halfway through their respective seasons when the news hit home, many of whom were primed to make noise in the upcoming postseason.
The softball team had an experienced and talented group riding a five-game winning streak at the time of the cancellation; women’s lacrosse was ranked sixth in the nation and gunning for a third straight NCAA Tournament appearance; women’s golf was looking to extend the country’s longest active streak of top-five finishes at Nationals; both tennis squads had deep rosters and postseason pedigrees to draw on.
So many questions left unanswered for the Hounds. But we can take comfort in their sacrifice knowing the added health and safety from which we benefit today.
Men’s Swimming & Diving
“Definitely very shocked, as we were only on our second day of the NCAA Swimming Championships. I think it took a while for everyone to come to terms with the cancellation of the meet as it was our very last meet for the season and we were all riding high of having some solid performances on day one. Support from the team and the bond that we all have surely played a major part in not only me feeling better, but for each and every one of us who was not able to swim or achieve what they wanted to achieve.”
“At first, finding out that my senior season had been canceled was devastating. This was a very special team and I had high hopes that we would accomplish great things. With the help of my family, teammates, and coaches, I was able to shift my focus towards the classroom and look forward to a bigger purpose that I was meant to fulfill. Being a nursing student, it is scary to enter the medical field during a pandemic. Thankfully, I feel very prepared through my classes and mental growth as an athlete. I am extremely grateful for the support I have received.”
“People would say, ‘it’s not about winning or losing,’ and that just made me angry because those people at least had a chance of competing. But then I started to realize that I had done everything I set out to do from the beginning. I achieved the pinnacle of wrestling I was humanly capable of, and that’s what mattered. What gave me peace about the cancellation more than anything else was the fact that I knew I left everything out there on the table and never looked back.”
“Once we received the news that the season was canceled and my college career was over, it hurt and I didn’t know what to really do next. All I could think about was ‘what if we got to play that weekend’ and what that outcome could have been. Since the cancellation, I have been able to look past the bad and reflect on the great year that we had and all the memories that were made along the way. For those memories and those friendships, I am forever grateful.“
“It was definitely very upsetting, but I know that this is just the beginning of my career as a nurse. With one semester left, being the first UIndy women’s lacrosse nursing major has given me the confidence to complete any goal I set for myself. Focusing on the positives and staying in contact with my teammates has helped me essentially bounce back after the cancellation. I am very grateful for the memories and lifelong friendships I have made and can’t wait to see what the future holds for the program.”