HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The nylon ripping as the ball goes through the net. The squeak of the shoes cutting on a gym floor. Typical noises just a couple days ago from the floor level at DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland.
But as Brian Morehouse approached another TV camera to do an interview about a season canceled, he couldn’t help but acknowledge the silence.
“You walk through this arena that was so full of life, energy and vibrating,” said Morehouse. “It’s just empty.”
Empty is a good word to describe how the Flying Dutch are feeling. News of the NCAA’s decision to cancel the season hit this team hard, and for good reason.
Hope is ranked first in the nation, a perfect 29-0. Just four victories away from the school’s third national championship.
“I walked in there, I just looked at them and they were already crying,” said Morehouse. “I started to cry and I said, ‘Guys, there is no script for this. I don’t know what to say except for thank you.'”
It was the kind of speech you give after a devastating loss to an opponent. Instead, this was delivered as a team was gearing up for another one.
“We don’t live in a world of perfect anymore,” said Morehouse. “You ran a perfect season.”
Amidst the tears, there was one more moment of pride. Morehouse was able to feel for the women who had worked so hard to put together this unbeaten run.
“We wanted to just have closure, whether it was a loss or a win,” said Morehouse. “Yet, we understand 100% why the NCAA did it. We understand exactly what’s going on in America. We support it. We understand it.”
A perspective hard to take for anyone so close to realizing a childhood dream.
Also, maybe a reason this team deserves to take its place among the greats with a banner in the rafters. One that has little to do with a trophy.