BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State women’s basketball team’s series at Northern State this weekend has been canceled due to COVID-19 testing protocols at BSU, officials from both schools announced Tuesday afternoon. The games, originally set for Friday, Jan. 8, and Saturday, Jan. 9, will not be rescheduled.
“Of course, we’re disappointed that this hiccup happened. But we were definitely prepared, emotionally and mentally, for this to happen,” Bemidji State head coach Chelsea DeVille said Wednesday. “… Our main focus is safety, so following our guidelines, our protocols, BSU’s, Northern Sun’s and the Minnesota Department of Health’s. It is what it is. We’ll stay focused as much as we can and be prepared for the next time we get to step on the court, which, hopefully, is next weekend against Moorhead.”
The Beavers are next scheduled to play Jan. 15-16 against Minnesota State Moorhead in Bemidji.
BSU will follow NSIC guidelines, as well as the school’s COVID-19 testing and safety protocols, and “adhere to proper quarantine and isolation procedures as required by the Minnesota Department of Health,” said a Bemidji State release.
DeVille said that she hopes the team can return to practice next week if further testing comes back negative.
“Hopefully next week we’ll get practice in again at some point,” she said. “Right now, it is that we will be set if no other changes occur in the negative sense, (and) we will be playing home against Moorhead next week.”
Bemidji State opened its season by splitting a pair of games with Minnesota State last weekend, falling 63-62 Saturday before securing an 82-76 win Sunday. The Mavericks are scheduled to travel to Augustana this weekend, though the series was pushed back a day into a Saturday-Sunday set.
Northern State will instead play against Southwest Minnesota State this weekend in a nonconference series. The Mustangs had their originally scheduled games against Winona State canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Warriors program.
“If we didn’t prepare our kids for the heartache of hearing we’re shut down, then it would have been shame on me,” DeVille said. “As much as you prepare, it still hurts. It’s still emotional to get shut down, but, gosh, we are not the only team it’s happened to or it’s going to happen to. Bigger picture, it’s just basketball.”