Cougar of the Week: Gwyneth Ivory

Steven Castiglione, Scarlet Staff

Gwyneth Ivory (‘17) is a member of the Women’s Basketball team from Ashland, Mass. Ivory majors in psychology with a minor in management. Women’s basketball advanced to the NEWMAC semifinals, but lost 56-53 to WPI. Ivory reflected on the experience.

Scarlet: What was it like to make it to the semifinals?

Gwyneth: It was awesome. It was the first time we had made it into the semifinals in some years. The first team we faced was Springfield, who we lost to a week ago. When Coach Glispin found out we were playing Springfield again, she had said that in life you don’t get a lot of redos, but a week later at the exact same time, same place, same bus, same bus driver, and I even got the same food order because it felt like the world was giving us another chance. I don’t think we have played any more connected than we did in that game against Springfield. I was so happy to bring out that win because the other team had been playing volleyball to warm up. They had expected an easy win and [that] they would roll right over for us, but we came out to play and we showed people that. We were the last seed and we came in and beat a #2 team, right off the bat we were all really excited.


Scarlet: What do you mean by ‘playing volleyball’?

Gwyneth: Instead of passing the ball like in basketball, they were ’peppering’ the ball like in volleyball. We took that as they weren’t going to take us seriously, which only made us want to win even more.


Scarlet: As a senior, what game this year has been the most fun to play in and why?

Gwyneth: I’d have to say it was the Springfield one. In that game, the team played so well, it was the first time that we had played all season for a full forty minutes. Our coach talked to us about how we would have small lapses sometimes or it would be whole quarters or even halves where we wouldn’t play to our potential. Against Springfield, we played a whole game, we showed them that we were here to compete, and I think it showed.


Scarlet: The women’s basketball team hasn’t gone to semifinals in some time, how does it feel to be a part of the same team as last year and lead them into semifinals?

Gwyneth: It was an amazing experience. I had seen we had not been to semifinals since 2005. I knew prior to last season we were going to have a lot of first years, so it was a rebuilding year, and I knew coming into this season we were going to have the same exact team as last year. This put us in a better place than most teams because we had all played with each other before, so we had a better understanding of how we played together.


Scarlet: Did you notice significant growth in the team’s ability from this season to last, and if so, what are some of the notable changes that helped the team?

Gwyneth: It was really tough last year because we had like seven or eight first years, and we were supposed to have two seniors, but they quit, so next leaders on the team were the juniors and there was a missing senior leadership to help guide the team. The underclassmen were overpowering for the upperclassmen because instead of an evenly distributed team among four classes, it ended up with one class way bigger than the other. There was a lot of learning to be done, and throughout last year we were able to form a more connected understanding of each other’s playing ability and each other more. That whole year felt like a practice for this season.


Scarlet: Was there a shared mentality of the team coming into this season of focusing on winning and improving from last season?

Gwyneth: At the end of last year, I think we all knew we had been building for next year, when we played our last game last year we had all noted how well we played and that we were getting somewhere. Going into the offseason, everyone trained really hard and made sure to keep the work up in order to have a great next season, I think that in what we were able to accomplish this year it showed. Back in the fall we had come up with the team motto of ‘Pride,’ because our coach was like ‘This school is great and this program was great and we need to bring the pride back,’ so we made our team motto ‘Pride.’ After practice, we would say ‘Clark’ and work toward bringing pride back to the program, and working toward bettering ourselves as players.


Scarlet: What are some words of wisdom Coach Glispin has shared with you over the four years you’ve been with the team?

Gwyneth: Coach is a very wise woman. Sometimes she says things, and you don’t get it, but now that I am a senior and looking back on it, she would say, ‘Skip it or deal with it,’ which is applicable to real life and basketball. If you are having an issue, you can either talk to the person and deal with it, or you can let it go and move forward. Coach has said so many inspiring and great things to me over the years, and I know I will take her words of wisdom with me.


Scarlet: What game did you find to be most challenging this season and why?

Gwyneth: I think our last game of the regular season, when we played Simmons, was by far our worst game. We weren’t connected, we weren’t playing well, and this was a team that we should have blown out the water, and we ended up losing by ten points. It was really nerve-wracking for me and my teammates because at that point we knew we were going to playoffs, and we were playing the number two seed. Coming from that game it was not a great feeling, but we were able to pull it together.  


Scarlet: Which game will you most remember?

Gwyneth: Even though we had lost, I think it has to be the last game we played because we were playing WPI, and cross town rivals, and we played really, really well. We had been winning for most of the game, you could tell everyone wanted it, and even though we didn’t end up winning, it showed that anyone can accomplish anything. The WPI coach told the team that they were lucky to get past us in that game because we had ended up losing by three points.



Thanks for the interview, Gwyneth!