Seniors were celebrated in the Warner Center Tuesday night as the women’s basketball team took on Randolph-Macon for Senior Spirit Night.
Pizza was served as an incentive for seniors and there was even a game of knockout at halftime.
According to volleyball player and track and field athlete Kenzie Shand, ‘17, nights like these are especially important for Generals’ athletics.
Shand is also the co-president of 24, W&L’s student-athlete group. 24 is student-run and works to create and promote a united community of student-athletes.
According to Shand, 24 is currently trying new initiatives to get people to games since the athletic community is very aware of the school’s attendance problems.
“These special nights to get people out to games really makes our athletes feel appreciated and have us be more connected within the community as a whole,” Shand said.
However, senior spirit is not what made headlines for the Generals on Tuesday. Guard Emily Perszyk, ’18, scored a career-high of 37 points in the game.
Not only was this a career high for Perszyk, but she is now second for the single game scoring record in W&L women’s basketball history, according to WLUR general manager Jeremy Franklin. Becca Bolton, ’12, currently holds the record with 39 against Lynchburg in February of 2011.
Perszyk said that having the second-highest scoring record was a true honor. She strongly emphasized how her teammates set her up to have such a high-scoring game.
“They did the hard part, got me open, and trusted me with the ball,” said Perszyk. “It goes in the books as an individual record, but it’s truly a reflection of the full team’s efforts.”
The Generals were able to capture a very important victory over Randolph-Macon. The teams were tied at 49 going into the fourth quarter. In the final minutes, Perszyk’s efforts, paired with her teammates’, helped propel the Generals ahead.
Only nine out of 14 players dressed out for the Generals due to either injury, illness or academic commitment. However, the nine who were healthy and present did not seem to be phased by the pressure.
Not only did Perszyk rise to the occasion, but so did forward Andy Smithey, ’20, and guard Andrea Ferrero, ‘18, Perszyk said. Both players stepped up on defense and made key stops for the Generals.
Forward Emma Redding, ’18, also led the team in rebounds with seven. This created more opportunities for the Generals to score.
“Last Tuesday was a huge win for us,” Redding said. “We lost to Randolph-Macon earlier in the season, so getting this win was an exciting step forward for the team.”
Perszyk was very confident in the nine players who did dress out for the game. She did, however, feel pressure to perform well for the seniors on Senior Spirit Night.
“I didn’t feel any extra pressure beyond it being senior spirit night,” Perszyk said. “I wanted to play for the respect of the three amazing seniors on our team and fight for the win.”