Baldwin senior anxious for return of winter sports season

Baldwin's Monique Rowland takes the ball down the court in action last season. (Star file photo)

Baldwin's Monique Rowland takes the ball down the court in action last season. (Star file photo)

BALDWIN - Monique Rowland is coming off a highly successful volleyball season, and was looking forward to a quick transition to basketball.

That will have to wait for awhile.

Rowland and the Panthers ended the volleyball season on Nov. 4 with a loss in the Fruitport Calvary Christian district against Muskegon Catholic.

"We only lost by a couple of points," Rowland said.

She then went to basketball practice on Nov. 9 and practiced for a week. It was a quick transition from volleyball, she acknowledged.

"Overall, it's a good transition," Rowland said.

But now, Rowland and her teammates will be getting a three-week break, but not what they had wanted. On Sunday, the state and MHSAA put a three-week suspension on winter sports practices until Dec. 9 because of rising COVID numbers.

Regardless of what happens, basketball players will have to be wearing masks, as they did in volleyball. But this could be more of a challenge in a sport like basketball where there's more running.

"It's hard on our breathing," Rowland said.

Rowland, a senior, had a solid season as a junior on last season's junior varsity squad. The 2019-20 season marks the first time in three years Baldwin has had a varsity girls squad. Rowland is expected to be among the team's top scorers.

"It's a little nerve racking," Rowland said. "I just have to practice hard and stay focused."

Layups, Rowland indicated, are her best offensive weapon, plus putbacks.

"I think we'll be a decent team this year," she said.