The MVHS girls basketball team walked onto the court wearing black t-shirts with a two-word hashtag on the front: Time’s up. In the bleachers, a multitude of MVHS sports teams, middle school teams and local friends and families filled the stands, many wearing the black shirts as well.
Additionally, the cheer team was there, uncommon since it was always tradition to only have them at the male sports games. Along with the cheer team, the two referees of the game were both women, which is also uncommon because of the low number of female refs in the area.
On Tuesday, Feb. 6, the girls basketball game was dedicated to National Girls & Women in Sports Day. MVHS athletic director Nick Bonacorsi heard about the national day and suggested a game be dedicated to it when talking to head basketball coach Sara Borelli. The two then worked together to organize the event. The t-shirts were designed by Bonacorsi’s wife and fully paid for by principal April Scott.
Aligned with the #TimesUp movement, which aims to end sexual harassment in the workplace and pushes for equality between men and women, the game was meant to spread awareness. Borelli says that awareness is very important, admitting that she’d met some people who didn’t know what the movement was about.
For senior Prachi Gupta, spreading awareness through the basketball game was important because of the focus on male or all-gendered sports at MVHS. Gupta believes that the collective participation of women will encourage progress for the movement.
“This is women’s empowerment by women themselves,” Gupta said. “If we have females encouraging each other then it’s so much easier to spread the movement.”
Senior Rupali Sujan, who has a twin sister on the team, believes that the dedication of the game will not only encourage people to support the movement but it will have long-term effects on younger generations in the crowd, such as the Kennedy MS athletic teams.
“ [The game] is going to have a positive impact on how [the Kennedy girls basketball team] view women in sports and if they choose to do sports in high school,” Sujan said.
With the large audience along with the celebration of a national day, Borelli was satisfied with the way everything panned out.
“It was just so nice to have a community supporting us like this,” Borelli said. “It was amazing just to hear the cheering and the support from the crowd.”
As for the game itself, despite trailing in the first quarter, the team recovered, building up a lead which they maintained for the rest of the night. The Matadors dominated FHS through all four quarters. The team applied defensive pressure, forcing errors from the Firebirds’ players, and creating turnovers.
Rapid passing and ball movement meshed with aggressive defense and high shooting percentages allowed the Matadors to dictate the pace of the game. Their shots swished through the net nonstop, while the FHS players’ seemed to be a missing a large portion of their shots. Ultimately, these factors contributed to an MVHS victory on Tuesday night.
An impressive performance earned the Matadors their third league win of the season in front of an excited crowd, the game finishing with a final score of 59-41.
Click through the photo gallery below to see more pictures from the game and National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
The girls basketball team will play their senior night game on Tuesday, Feb. 13 at 7:00 p.m against Los Altos HS.