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Math Geek Mom: Undefeated

Celebrating victories.

February 2, 2017
 
 

In Math, there is a theorem that states the fact that, in a set of positive integers, there will always be a smallest element. This theorem is then used to prove other statements, and was something that came to mind this past weekend when I realized that the Ursuline College basketball team continued to have the smallest number of losses in our conference. Indeed, as of last weekend, they continued to have the smallest number of possible losses; zero. Although they are not the University of Connecticut, as they entered the second half of their season, our Ursuline College Arrows remained undefeated.

When I first arrived at Ursuline College in 1998, there were no athletics on campus, as we were, at the time, heavily focused on commuter students, many of whom came to campus, took a class or two, and then left. In the years since I have been here, things have changed dramatically. We have since built several buildings, including a new dorm, added our first doctoral program, and added athletics to the list of activities available to our students. While athletics flourished for several years, it soon became obvious that the college wanted to take participation in sports to the next level, and so applied for a position in the Division II of the NCAA. The process of entering that conference took several years, but, eventually, in the summer of 2013, our application was accepted. And then things got interesting.

As soon as we had been accepted to this new association, our former president, Sister Dianna Stano, muttered to herself and to those around her, “now all we need is a new gym.” Ursuline’s old gym had been built for intermural sports many years ago, and, despite some updates, was really starting to show its age. However, everyone knew that building a new gym was not a priority for our small college at that time, and so that comment was duly noted and then forgotten about, with the NCAA allowing us to continue using the old gym, as we were “grandmothered” in.

A heat wave assaulted the area as July drew to a close, and on the night of July 20th that the heat finally broke, thanks to a heavy rainstorm in the entire Northeast Ohio region. Where I live, about ½ hour from campus, branches from trees fell down, and the rain definitely ended the oppressive heat and humidity. However, on campus, it was a different story.

Thankfully, a camp-in for a summer camp that had been held in the school gym the night before was long over by the time a tornado ripped through the campus, seeming to be aimed at the gym and the pool. It tore off almost two of the walls off the gym and lifted the roof of the pool up off its walls and replaced it exactly where it had been resting, doing enough damage to make the pool structurally unstable but not damaging surrounding buildings to any great extent. When the dust settled, it was clear that the pool was gone and that the gym would need to be replaced. It took a few years of students traveling to area facilities to practice, but eventually, from the ashes, rose an athletic center that is our pride and joy, in which our amazing basketball team practices. It is, of course, named after that former president who dreamed it in what seems like a different life, Sister Dianna Stano.

In a year when choosing the leader of the free world mostly resembled varsity sports, it is great to actually have varsity sports to catch our attention. I have memories of my own college’s success in men’s NCAA basketball many years ago, and I smile to try to imagine what would happen if our college met with similar success. As my memories of college sports success are peppered with students drinking beer and parties that overflowed into restaurants and bars not far from my campus, I realize that celebrations on our quiet suburban campus would be very different. However, I am sure that success in the post-season will be met with great joy on this campus that was not defeated by even the nastiest of weather.

 

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