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It's a normal morning practice for the Black Hawk Women's basketball team.

Coaches are yelling things like, "Put a body on 'em!" and "Sprint. Sprint. Sprint."

Normally, this is normal preparation for a game tomorrow. 

But, that game has already been canceled. 

Why?

Because the Braves are facing their biggest opponent so far this season, themselves.

"Some girls though the conditioning was too hard so literally they walked away from their scholarships," explains second year coach Karen Boyd. "Not just from basketball but from Black Hawk College." 

The off-season 14 women on the roster.

But due to players quitting and getting injured, the start of training camp left them with only six.

Now, just 10 games into the season, two other players have fallen to injury, making only four healthy and available, not even enough to start a game. 

And the frustration is growing.

"I never really saw it going this way," says Sophomore Emily McVietty. "It's just unfortunate that the college has to be represented in this way and the team has to go through this. It's really not fair to people."

McVietty is a 2nd year player at this two year junior college. 

Meaning, this is her last year to make an impression on college recruiters to continue her playing career. 

Something she feels she is being robbed of.

"We won't get many recruiters here watching us if we don't have games," she explains. "And if we do, they aren't going to come watch us because of our history."

But other players on this roster are just happy to have the opportunity to play collegiate basketball.

"I'm just really thankful for the opportunity to play anywhere because I didn't think after high school I was going to be playing," says Freshman forward, Molly Malone.

While frustrated, Malone says this time for the team will bring them closer together. 

And hopefully stronger when they get the chance to get back on the court.

"Just because we don't have all our players, isn't excuse not to work hard."

Now, Coach Boyd hopes this years struggles , lead to something better next season.

"We'll tackle the mental aspect of it. We'll tackle the academic aspect of it and we'll try to get them physically on the court," Boyd says with determination. "But it's about addressing that well-balanced player. Making sure they make it semester to semester.

While outgoing players hope for better for the program.

"I just hope that it changes," says McVietty. "I hope that Freshman this year and next year have a better chance to do what they really love."

 

***Tomorrow's away game and Saturday's home game have already been forfeited.

They will not be able to play until the team is able to dress at least five players. 

 

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