An Unexpected Final Whistle

Frese Reflects After Coronavirus Causes Soaring Season’s Sudden End
Photo courtesy of Maryland Athletics

The Maryland women’s basketball team was overpowering the competition this season, compiling a 17-game winning streak and earning a fifth Big Ten title and fourth conference tournament championship since joining the Big Ten in 2014.

The Terps were expecting a top seed in the NCAA tournament when on March 12—four days before Selection Monday—the NCAA canceled the Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, along with all remaining winter and spring championships, due to the evolving COVID-19 public health threat.

On the Maryland Athletics podcast “Hear the Turtle,” Head Coach Brenda Frese reflected on the season’s abrupt end:

This team, gosh, they were red-hot, right? (Then suddenly, we had) four seniors that weren’t going to be able to close their career, and kind of this big question mark and an unknown.

But I do relish in the fact that unlike a lot of coaches that had to inform their team by text or phone calls, we were present (at practice). As hard as it was, we really got to have some closure, because we went back into the lounge and sat down, and players and staff and support staff, even our character coaches were scheduled to be there. So everyone spoke.

I think the words that will always ring true to me, the first words spoken after we shared the news, both Colleen (Sorem, deputy athletic director) and I, to the team were from senior Blair Watson, who said, “I love you guys.”

Listen to the entire podcast at


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