DSU women's basketball delayed by COVID-19 again

After game against Valley City postponed, the Blue Hawks are looking at playing its first game in three weeks on Dec. 11.

Junior guard Sunshine Vicente charges past her teammate during a practice drill. (Matthew Curry/The Dickinson Press)

The Dickinson State basketball team hoped to start its NSAA conference schedule with a game against Valley City on Dec. 5, but now will have to wait until Dec. 11 before hitting the court again.

After falling to No. 20 Carroll College 92-57 on Nov. 20, the Blue Hawks hoped to return to the court against Dakota Wesleyan on Nov. 28 but were dealt a 'COVID No Contest.' Following that game, the Blue Hawks then started preparing for its upcoming conference schedule starting with the 1-3 Vikings. But will now have to wait until Jan. 30 before taking on Valley City.

"I think we all kind of knew that this was going to be a different year and that things were going to change and schedules are going to change," Blue Hawks head coach Eric Nelson said. "But even myself, I didn’t know that it was going to change this much."

The Blue Hawks now are scheduled to play Dec. 11, three weeks after its most recent game, against Mayville State at home.

With the long waiting period, Nelson and his coaching staff have had to change practices to help keep his players active during the break.


"We’re doing more scrimmaging in practice than we probably have in a while," he said. "Just kind of changing up practices just a little so we’re not just kind of doing the same things every day."

Nelson said his main priority is making sure his players stay safe and healthy, but are also game-day ready just in case anything were to come up.

"Trying to keep them in shape, I think that’s the biggest thing," he said. "There’s no replacement for having that game shape that you get, we’re trying to scrimmage more than we have and then just trying push things up."

While most teams see their schedule only change potentially once a season, even that being a rarity, Nelson said the schedule change to the '20-21 season has become a very common circumstance.

"When I say our schedule has probably changed 30 times that’s not an exaggeration," he said.

While the players may be itching to lace up the sneakers and hit the court, Nelson said the coaches are eager to prepare for a upcoming game.

"Coaches are creatures of habit," he said. "We want to know when we’re playing and we want to know who so that way we can get our scouting report together and all the stuff like that.

"I think that’s just the biggest thing, Not knowing when you’re going to play next," Nelson added. "Not knowing who you’re going to play next and as a coach that is frustrating, but we kind of knew that it was going to be like that this year. But I don’t think that we would have imaged that we postponed and cancelled this many games especially in the early goings."


Despite the hiatus, Nelson said the team is trying its best to stay positive and find the silver lining.

"I think it helps because any time that you have more practice that’s a good thing," he said. "We’re probably able to add more things that we probably don’t put in normally until maybe January or February."

Based on the current schedule, Dickinson State will be starting its conference schedule when it hits the court against Mayville State, a team they lost to 70-64 in a non-conference matchup this season. They will follow that with another home game, this time against Presentation College, who they edged 77-76 also in an early season, non-conference matchup.

"I think the girls are just ready to get the conference season underway," he said. "Obviously the non-conference is fun and it’s good to play those games. But you’re really playing those games to get ready for the conference play because that’s where you’re able to make the national tournament, you’re able to make the conference tournament, those things."

Matthew Curry is a sports reporter and photographer for the West Central Tribune.
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