Sooner than the Siena bus departs, Saints coach Ali Jaques stands attain her seat in the front and counts to guarantee everyone has boarded.
That process won’t seize long Tuesday.
Siena — a team that has spent near to half of this season in quarantine — can maintain only six players aboard when the bus rolls away from the Saints’ campus in Loudonville, Fresh York, for the shuttle to Monmouth on Tuesday. The total crawl procure together is 10: the players, two coaches, an athletic coach and a bus driver.
“The novelty of it, I mediate it’s a factor you’ve to settle for,” Jaques acknowledged. “We’re on this recurring situation and now we maintain to settle for what it is and then sign how we may maybe additionally be a hit — and obtain replacement in that situation.”
This grand is trail: It is a recurring situation.
Siena has 14 players on the roster; of the eight who won’t be on the shuttle to Monmouth, most are in quarantine for virus-connected reasons — that will merely embody sure tests or contact tracing suggesting they’ll merely had been uncovered to COVID-19. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference has a requirement that teams must play in the occasion that they’ve eight readily out there players; Siena elected to play with fewer.
The Saints had been on two avenue journeys already this season. Both instances, they arrived at their destination and then learned out the video games would be canceled because of virus problems. If they play Monmouth on Wednesday night time as scheduled in West Long Department, Fresh Jersey, this is able to additionally be the Saints’ first avenue game of the season.
“You may maybe well’t fabricate these items up,” Jaques acknowledged.
Jaques was once segment of a team that won an NCAA Division III championship at Fresh York University, and coaches with the an identical tough-as-nails vogue that benefited her as a player. Siena has practiced 50 instances this season, spent 40 days in quarantine — and played four video games. The Saints are 2-2, after losing twice in December and a hit video games on Jan. 9 and 10.
They haven’t played since. But ending the season early was once no longer an option.
“We don’t quit. We don’t,” Jaques acknowledged. “And I mediate we’re past the level of considering we can’t be a hit with only a couple of players. We don’t maintain the mindset that giving up is OK. We don’t impart ‘why me,’ we’re asserting ‘strive me,’ and that’s the tradition that now we maintain in our locker room.”
There’s also a history of quick-handed success for Jaques at Siena.
In 2016, the Saints won a MAAC tournament game over Rider with only four players on the court on the discontinue. In 2014-15, Jaques’ team played its closing 30 video games with only seven players — Siena dubbed them “The Very most attention-grabbing Seven.” Siena won 22 video games that season, and a few of those players hopped a Zoom call with the scorching six players this week to let them know the blueprint to sort out what awaits.
Jaques will attain at Monmouth for Wednesday’s game in warmups, because she is conscious of she’ll be wanted as a pregame rebounder as her players loosen up. A slight while before game time, she’ll trade from her sweats into her sideline dressy apparel.
There’s of mission Siena may maybe procure some players support soon. But for now, six wants to be satisfactory.
“This team has been so careful about every little thing they discontinue,” Jaques acknowledged. “And if now we maintain the likelihood to play, we’re going to play. All they need to discontinue is play a game. That’s it. So, I’m no longer tremulous about the rest. I’m going to procure these six kids as centered and ready as we can maybe be.”
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