For Lauren Schetter, it was important to “leave my mark” in her final year as a collegiate athlete, and that was the plan. Then it was deferred.
Prompted by the pandemic in 2020, Pace University withdrew its sports teams from competition until the following spring, which eliminated, among other things, the women’s basketball season.
“It was terrible,” Schetter said of the season nixed by COVID-19. “We couldn’t even have a full team practice. You just had to sit and wait.”
Well, maybe in the figurative sense. But she didn’t do much actual sitting. The Beacon native instead dedicated her time to training, improving her handle and outside shot and expanding her game “to do things I wasn’t able to before.”
Then, once the NCAA granted athletes an additional year of eligibility, Schetter chose to return to Pace and pursue a masters degree. On the court, this would be a make-up season — making up for lost time and making up for the years as an underclassman in which the team struggled.
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That work and her refined skills brought about a breakout, for herself and the team, as Schetter led the Setters on an improbable run to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA Division II tournament for the first time since 2001.
Those accomplishments earned her selection as the All-Met Division II women’s basketball Player of the Year, the Metropolitan Basketball Writers Association announced Wednesday.
The 5-foot-9 forward averaged 19.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and a block per game while shooting 48.5% from the field. Setters coach Carrie Seymour also was voted All-Met Coach of the Year.
Katie Wall, a Mercy College junior from Wappingers Falls, was also a first-team All-Met selection.
Schetter’s list of accolades this season included All-America honorable mention by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and being named NCAA East Regional Most Outstanding Player. She also received Northeast -10 academic all-conference honors.
“You put so much work in and it’s so exciting to be able to have something like this happen for us,” Schetter said of the success this season. “I love Pace and it’s rewarding to represent them in a great way.”
Wall, who starred at Roy C. Ketcham High School and was only the fifth girl in Dutchess County to reach 2,000 career points, has excelled at Mercy College.
The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 16 points, 4.4 assists and 2.4 steals, leading the Mavericks to their most wins since 1997 and a berth in the East Coast Conference tournament. Wall also was a first team all-ECC selection.
Stephen Haynes: firstname.lastname@example.org; 845-437-4826; Twitter: @StephenHaynes4