Women’s basketball shows up for games other than its own

Members+of+the+Marquette+womens+basketball+team+at+a+Marquette+volleyball+game+earlier+this+season.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Marquette+Athletics.%29

Members of the Marquette women’s basketball team at a Marquette volleyball game earlier this season. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

On a cold October evening, Marquette students were enticed to journey to Valley Fields for a free scarf. However, the women’s basketball team members showed up regardless of the promotion.

It is extremely important because, at Marquette, we believe in community and a sense of supporting one another,” first-year guard Emily La Chapell said.

La Chapell and her teammates have been active on campus in supporting the in-season teams, including men’s and women’s soccer and women’s volleyball.

She said that the older players on the team shared the community values with her upon her arrival at Marquette.

“The biggest thing they did for us was inviting us to go to other players’ games and showing us how to support,” La Chapell said. “Taking that in and learning how not only to be there but also how you’re supporting them is important. I learn as much as I can from them because they’re amazing people, and I try to model myself after them.”

Marquette head coach Megan Duffy said she enjoys the environment her team has helped build on campus.

“They love going to events and when you have all the athletes looking out for each other and being each other’s hype squads, it creates a fun environment,” Duffy said. 

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, comprised of student-athletes, promotes athletic events for fellow athletes to support one another. SAAC also helps student-athletes navigate NCAA policies.

Junior guard Rose Nkumu said she finds the relationships she has built through SAAC beneficial for the culture the Marquette student-athletes are trying to develop. 

“It helps to have a core group of us that try to go out whenever we can and support. We make sure that they (other student-athletes) see us, hear us, and know that we’re supporting them,” Nkumu said. 

Nkumu got involved with the program with the help of her teammate and SAAC President, Chloe Marotta.

“I loved that it was all the student-athletes coming together, and you just got to talk and get to know them on a different level. Being with people who have experienced the same things you are as a division one athlete, it’s been excellent to go through that experience,” Nkumu said.  

She also said that SAAC has impacted how teams support each other. 

“I especially enjoy watching different sports. Whenever the team can, we go and support others,” Nkumu said. “It’s nice to have that connection to where you have a Sunday afternoon, and it’s, ‘We can go see soccer play or watch a volleyball game.’ It’s nice that we have team members that want to do that.”

Those on the women’s soccer team said they appreciate the support and is looking forward to returning it.

“It means a lot to have the support of the women’s basketball team and other programs.  It’s really cool to see different members of the Marquette athletics community support each other and I know women’s soccer is looking forward to cheering women’s basketball on at the Al this year,” women’s soccer sophomore midfielder Molly Keiper said.

Senior transfer guard Nia Clark got involved in the culture at Marquette right away, something she said is much different than her experience at Xavier.

“Xavier was a great atmosphere, but this differs in many ways. The community here is so close-knit; everyone knows everyone. For example, we see our president (President Michael Lovell) dripped in sweat after working out; he’s in here all the time,” Clark said.

Duffy echoed that the community is tight at Marquette.

“I’ve been to a lot of different schools with different sizes. There’s something to be said about Marquette. It’s just a close-knit community of people who love the blue and gold and are always rooting for their classmates and other student-athletes,” Duffy said. 

She said she hopes that the other student-athletes on campus offer the same support for their team in return. 

“I hope we can pack the Al McGuire Center here with our fans around the community,” Duffy said. “However, there’s nothing better than having your fellow students here.” 

This story was written by Trevor Hilson. He can be reached at [email protected] or @hilsontrevor on Twitter.