This year at Rowan University, sports are back, in-person classes are back, and so is field hockey captain Dayna DeVincentz.
DeVincentz, 22, already finished up her two bachelor’s degrees at Rowan last spring and is furthering her studies as a graduate student at Villanova University.
As far as sports go, her senior year didn’t go exactly how she had imagined along with countless other pandemic students. Because of the cancellation of the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, each day was filled with practice, practice, and more practice.
In accordance with NCAA rules, to continue playing at Rowan, DeVincentz picked up a minor in applied statistics and is using her fourth year of eligibility to resume her field hockey career.
“It was important to come back because it was my senior season that was lost, and I didn’t want to go out like that– go out with a canceled season,” DeVincentz said. “So it was important for me to get closure and to have one more chance to make it back to the Final Four, possibly win a national championship. I just wasn’t ready to be done.”
There was never a doubt about DeVincentz’s return, according to Head Coach Michelle Andre.
“She knew what she was going to do, when everything hit in March 2020,” Andre said. “She kind of pre-planned everything. That’s what she does . . . I didn’t have to have a conversation with her.”
It’s been an unusually long college career for DeVincentz. In all of that time, from her first year in 2017 to her extended senior year, she learned a lot about what it means to be a captain from her peers.
“I’ve definitely grown in not only my skills, but confidence in decision making and stuff like that,” DeVincentz said. “Freshman year, I came in and I was surrounded by great role models. And it was very eye opening. It was just me as a little freshman, and I took that role each year, I kept growing on it, and turned kind of into the leader that I am, and the upperclassman that I am, and the player that I am because of all of these years with these different people.”
Coach Andre believes DeVincentz has become a paramount piece of the team, something essential during and after an odd year.
“She’s somebody that’s been so consistent, you always know what to expect with her,” Andre said. “And there’s never any doubt how she leads on the field. She’s been a great leader, especially all through last year through the pandemic when it was really important that I had that relief and that relationship with the captain, getting the proper information to the team and keeping us a team.”
DeVincentz talked about what she hopes to get out of her final year as a Prof.
“I want to remember having the best time possible with my teammates,” DeVincentz said. “Obviously all of the championships and Final Fours are going to be lasting memories, and I obviously want to make more of those, but so are the time spent with my teammates and coaches. I want to be able to keep and create more of those positive experiences this season that I hope to carry for the rest of my life.”
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