Behind the Players

Interviews with the national championship runner-ups


This past Saturday on March 31st the Captains went to Dallas, Texas for the Women’s NCAA Division III National Championship Game. With a 31-0 undefeated record heading into Saturday’s game, it came as a shock to all of CNU that they lost by five points. However, runner-up in a National Championship is nothing to sneeze at. 

Players Camille Malagar and Lauren Fortescue sat down for an interview before the National Championship to discuss how far basketball has taken them.

Malagar has been playing since she was in kindergarten. “Both of my older brothers have been playing their whole life, and I look up to them a lot so that inspired me,” Malagar said.

Fortescue has a multiple sports background and explained that her parents put her and her siblings in multiple sports as a kid. “I probably started rec league at six or seven years old just because they wanted us to try everything,” Fortescue said. Fortescue came close to not being a college basketball player at all. “I played soccer in highschool. I was thinking about playing that too, but something about basketball is really fast paced. I think there is more energy in the game compared to the other sports,” Fortescue said.

Malaga and Fortescue explained that when picking CNU, they never expected that making it to the National Championship would be on their list of to-do’s. For both of them this was not even a goal they considered when picking colleges. “It was always one of my goals to play at the collegiate level. I think it just happened to be at CNU,” Malagar said. Malaga was asked how it felt to be at CNU knowing that you are about to play in a National Championship, and she responded, “I am just super grateful to be in this position. When discussing playing basketball at CNU Fortescue agreed that it was something of a chance. “I just feel really blessed, and it doesn’t feel real. As a transfer I didn’t know I was going to come here right away. Luckily Coach B let me play, and I got along really well with the team. I’m just really thankful for the opportunity to play in a National Championship. It’s just crazy to think about how long I have been playing the game, and we get to play in such a big game this weekend.” Fortescue was previously enrolled at Salisbury University. The irony in this is Salisbury has been referred to as CNU’s rival. “Sorry I didn’t know I was always going to come here, but I’m glad I did,” Fortescue said when talking about transferring from Salisbury.

What made this game particularly difficult for the whole team was two of the star players, Anaya Simmons and Katy Rader, were out with torn ACLs. When talking about the reason behind their success Fortescue claimed that the team’s chemistry was behind their success and reassured her that the team would perform well in the National Championship. “From the freshman to the grads I feel like we all get along well. Even with Anaya and Katy out, that gives us so much more reason to want it more. I think there are just a lot of deserving people on this team, and we all are on the same page like we know we want it,” Fortescue said. 

Even though they lost, the entire CNU community appears to be proud. On a quote from the head coach, Coach Broderick, says it all, “They played a great game today … I also just want to say that I’m extremely proud of my group. I think we fought and competed through a lot of adversity this year, and we didn’t stop fighting until the final buzzer went off.”