There was a range of emotions from the senior laden Quincy University Men’s Basketball team following their season-ending loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Senior point guard Herm Senor summed up how everybody was feeling.
“It was tough. That’s not the ending we wanted,” Senor said. “It’s hard for a lot of us to know that our careers at QU are done.”
Senor was right. The team had fallen short of its ultimate goal, a national championship, and the end of the Hawk’s season means losing seven seniors to graduation. That is tough, but this team has nothing to hang its heads over.
“We fell short of the ultimate goal, but this team was special in so many ways,” Senior Von Washington III said. “I will never forget the camaraderie that we had on and off the court. My team since transferring (from Western Michigan in the Fall of ’15) has been incredible with all these guys at this university.”
This year’s team set records and excited the student body and university community en route to the second-winningest season in school history and first Great Lakes Valley Western Division championship in Marty Bell’s 14 years as coach of the Hawks. Their conference run culminated in a thrilling 97-92 win on the road at Truman State, in which so many QU students travelled to the game that it seemed like a home game at Pepsi Arena.
And speaking of Pepsi Arena, how many times did this team ignite the sell out crowds that showed up regardless of the weather to take on some of the nation’s top teams?
“I will have some great memories from there,” Senior forward Joseph Tagarelli said. “There was nothing better than us getting on a run and feeding off the crowds. Opposing players and coaches hated it, and it was a huge advantage for us whenever we got tired or things weren’t going our way too.”
Tagarelli, who set the single season scoring record and was named all-GLVC and all-Midwest Region, won’t be the only one to remember the passion and excitement that this team brought to Pepsi Arena.
“This year’s team was great to watch,” Senior baseball player Nick Stroud said. “As much as they loved having us at the games, we were as excited every home game to come out and bring the noise. It brings a great added dimension to the student life when our teams are having success.”
Still more important than the records and the raucous crowds was the bond that the players built together. Whether it was on the court, in the locker room or at the bowling alley, this team had a chemistry that these players will carry the rest of their lives.
Fifth-year Senior Evan McGaughey said that this year’s team was the first time in his time at QU where every player could look each other in the eye and say “I love you.”
Senor was right. It is tough to watch the season end without that final win and a national championship, but it will be even more tough to forget what this team did for this university, its students and most importantly, each other.