Dana Bandurick ’23.5, a senior from New Hope, PA, led the Swarthmore women’s basketball team to a tremendous victory over Franklin and Marshall College on Saturday, Feb. 4. Bandurick, star captain and forward, shined on offense, putting up a season high of twenty points and tallying four assists. Locking down the defense, Bandurick posted four steals, fourteen rebounds, and three blocks. Her stellar performance earned her Centennial Conference Athlete of the Week this week. Coming back midway through the season from an injury, Bandurick has proved invaluable in the Garnet’s fight for a bid in the Centennial Conference’s postseason.
Sophia Vesely: Can you speak more to your team’s incredible performance on Saturday against Franklin and Marshall College?
Dana Bandurick: That win was super exciting for us because we were able to beat them by a high margin, even though our last time facing them, we lost. We just really played together as a team and had great energy, so I think all of that translated into our performance. Everyone contributed to making our team one of the better versions of itself.
SV: How did it feel to tally a season high of twenty points against the Diplomats?
DB: It’s usually a good feeling to be able to contribute on the offensive end as an individual, so I’m thankful that I could contribute to help the team in order for us to have the best collective performance. I’m also just super thankful that I’m still able to do that after all my injuries because I wasn’t sure how well I’d be able to return to my normal level of play.
SV: Coming back from an injury this season, what has your recovery process and re-entry back to play been like?
DB: At first, I was pretty nervous to get back into the swing of things because I had knee surgery over the summer and then ankle surgery in November, so I was worried about getting injured again and worried about what my level of play would be like when I returned. I’ve been so fortunate to have such a great team and friends, so their support has been really helpful for my recovery and reintegration back into playing. It’s been incredibly exciting to play again, especially since I really haven’t been able to play since July. Needing to recover from injuries was difficult and very frustrating, but I have been really appreciative of all the great resources I have and the people who have helped me in my recovery. All of my injuries have really made me appreciate my time on the team and being able to play the sport I love so much more.
SV: What have been some highlights for the team this season?
DB: I think some of the best, more basketball-related highlights for us are our wins over Dickinson and Washington and Lee because they are very high-standing teams, so these wins really helped us see that when we are all playing together at our best, we can be very competitive. At least for me, the highlights that I value more are all of the little moments we get to spend together as a team. I love spending so much time with everyone, and all of our team-related activities and non-basketball time together are always made better by being with my friends.
SV: What are the team’s goals for the rest of the season?
DB: Our main priority right now is making play-offs. We are on the edge right now between making it and not, so hopefully we end in-conference play with enough wins to get us into the play-offs. We just want to take it one game at a time and give everything we have for each game.
SV: What are your personal goals for the rest of the season?
DB: I want to contribute whatever the team needs from me in order to do its best. I have a lot of specific goals for offense and defense, but overall I really just want to enjoy the time I have with my team, play as hard and smart as I can, and provide great energy.
SV: Why did you choose Swarthmore?
DB: I chose Swarthmore because of the people and the style of academics here. I really liked the sense of community and how friendly everyone was, as well as how good the education and resources here are.
SV: Favorite Narples bar?
DB: I love basically anything from World of Flavor and the Spice station. A few of my favorites are the lo mein, any roasted vegetable, and any sort of pasta.