Even a Pandemic Hasn’t Kept Sydney Roule from Elevating Her Game During Her Senior Season

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IUPUI guard Sydney Roule is playing the best basketball of her career this season in front of empty bleachers due to the ongoing pandemic that has kept fans out of gyms. 

Syndey Roule, a 5-foot-11 guard out of Amherst, Ohio, is enjoying her best year from behind the arc shooting 44.7% from beyond the three-point line, which ranks 1st in the Horizon League and 11th in the nation. 

For Roule, she credits her play not to the lack of fans but instead credits her health. Going into her junior season Roule had back surgery to repair a herniated disc and nerve damage that had been bothering her since her freshman season. 

“After my back surgery I was able to get in the gym more often and able to stay after practice and shoot,” Roule said. “Having my body loose makes me a better shooter.”

During a year where IUPUI’s women’s program captured their first Horizon League title in 2020, Roule shot 34.4% from three-point range. In an unfortunate turn of events, the Jaguars first trip to the NCAA Tournament was canceled as COVID-19 continued to spread. Obviously disappointed, Roule used the longer offseason to work on her flexibility and different aspects of her body she wouldn’t have been able to focus on in season.

“I feel for the freshman the most,” said Roule, “they were just thrown into it because they couldn’t come until August. Individually, I think it helped me more than it hurt me.” 

Currently the Jaguars sit 13-4 overall in the 2020-2021 season, ranking first in the Horizon League. The Jaguars as a whole are playing a high level of basketball as they approach tournament play. 

In just under a month, both men's and women’s tournaments will take place in Indianapolis and for Roule she is hoping for the return of fans in the stadium, at least for the sake of the players.

“Why not give the girls and the boys four tickets each? I would definitely want to have family to at least see me play one more time” said Roule.

The pandemic has taken many things from Roule in her senior season. Not only has it eliminated the specialness of her senior night, but it also took her family’s ability to see their daughter play at such a high level in the final season of her career.

“They’ve never missed a first game,” said Roule, “No matter where it's been, they’ve always been at my first game and this year they weren’t there, and it was kind of sad.”

Despite knowing that her family is always watching from afar, she admits that not having them there for her senior season has been a hard thought to handle for both parties. 

“It’s more upsetting to them for sure.”

During a pandemic, away from family and having a great season for the Jaguars, Roule describes this year as a “great year for the circumstances we’re facing.”

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