Blanca Millan, Dor Saar, Fanny Wadling and Kelly Fogarty are eligible to return to the University of Maine women’s basketball team next season. But they won’t.
Coach Amy Vachon on Tuesday said forward Maeve Carroll is the only Black Bears senior who plans to take advantage of the NCAA’s blanket waiver and return next season.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA is allowing all student-athletes, regardless of their status, to play during 2020-21 and return next year for an extra year of eligibility without penalty.
Carroll, an All-America East second-team selection last season, announced last month that she intends to return and work toward her master’s degree in business.
Millan and Wadling, who are in Orono for a fifth year after receiving NCAA hardship waivers because of injuries, along with fourth-year seniors Saar and Fogarty, are moving on.
From left: Dor Saar, Fanny Wadling, Blanca Millan and Kelly Fogarty. Credit: Courtesy of UMaine athletics
“I’m 99.9 percent sure the rest are going to go further and take the next steps in their lives,” Vachon said.
“Blanca and Fanny have been here for five years and that’s a long time,” chuckled Vachon. “Dor has military service in Israel. She has to go do that. She got a waiver for college but she won’t get any more waivers, I think. And I think Kelly is ready to go.”
Millan, a guard, recently became the first player in America East history to earn Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year in the same season for the second time.
Point guard Saar became the first player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points and 500 assists.
Forward Wadling led the conference in rebounding two years ago and Fogarty has been a 3-point specialist who set the school record with 10 3-pointers in a win over New Hampshire this season.
“I think they’ve all made the decision it is best for them and for us,” Vachon said. “Could they change their minds or could we change our minds? Sure. That could definitely happen. But I’m pretty sure Maeve will be the only one coming back.”
UMaine, the America East regular-season champ, hosts Albany in a 1 p.m. semifinal matchup on Sunday.