Inside Water with Isabel – Villanova University

Hey Wildcats!

I apologize for my unplanned hiatus from the blog – the conference games really took over me and somehow the blog took a step back. For those of you who haven’t heard, our season ended on Easter weekend with great wins against La Salle on Friday and against VMI on Saturday. And while we did our best in those two games, we just missed out on the MAAC Championship Tournament, which was our original goal for the season. Regardless of the outcome, I’m extremely proud of our team and all the hard work we’ve put in to make it happen.

So, this being my last blog, I thought I would share a reflection on the team and program that have hosted me for the past four years. One thing I couldn’t help but think about for the past few weeks is the fact that when you’re a freshman, you have no idea what your team will look like when you’re a senior. You can’t even begin to imagine a team with just your own classmates and none of the upperclassmen. And one thing is certain: I could never, in my wildest dreams, imagine a team like this. The support, friendship, sense of belonging and so much more that I have received from this team is absolutely invaluable to me. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to write or capture all the ways this team made Villanova home or made me who I am today.

Being a college athlete isn’t easy; in one of our many boardroom meetings, Coach told us, “If it were easy, there would be a lot more people in this room right now.” And it’s not always easy, I can say with confidence that the aspects of the team that I like far outweigh the things that I didn’t like. Although I didn’t like getting up early for lifts, I loved cheering each other on as we lifted heavier than the week before. While I didn’t always enjoy those last few hours on the bus back from VMI, I loved how we always managed to end up laughing and joking, no matter how long the ride was. Although there were days when the first dip in the water was so daunting, I loved the competition and camaraderie in the pool with my best friends. I loved all the “good shots” and “good blocks” that echoed during the warm-up shoot. I loved the pre-workout discussions, whether it was the MAAC standings or whether Emily would slip or sink if she jumped in the pool on a boogie board. I love every way the team has evolved into something I didn’t see coming.

To my team: It has been an honor and a privilege to be your teammate, captain and friend. It was an honor and a privilege to compete with you, to win and to lose with you. It strikes me now how honored and privileged it was to do all those little things with you. Splitting a lane, reviewing plays, locking in center, warming up play, high fives after bases, throwing lacrosse balls in softball mitts, trying to juggle, centering work in the shallow end, running towards the corner, birthday dances and every moment in between. I could never express my love for all of you. I know your future is incredibly bright (in and out of the pool) and I look forward to following you and seeing where you go in the years to come.

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