Iowa State, Schroll moving on a month after split


Photo: Jake Lovett/Iowa State Daily

ISU forward Jessica Schroll goes up for a shot in the first half of Iowa State’s game against Drake on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011, at the Knapp Center in Des Moines. The Cyclones trailed by as many as 13 in the second half, but prevailed with a 71-64 win over the Bulldogs.

Dean Berhow-Goll

It has been more than a month since Jessica Schroll left the ISU women’s basketball team.

After a win against Buffalo on Dec. 30, Schroll announced to the team in the locker room it was her last game as a Cyclone, and she was leaving the team. 

“She never really said anything to us until that game,” said ISU junior Chelsea Poppens. “Right after that game [against Buffalo] she said, ‘This is tough, but this is the last game that I’ll be playing,’ and she was gone the next day.”

Although her teammates were sad Schroll had left, there’s not doubt they’ve moved on as a team. 

“She was one of my best friends here,” said senior guard Lauren Mansfield. “It’s hard, but you’ve got to move on. I guess it’s a better thing because we’re so busy playing games we don’t have time to think about it.” 

Schroll, a native of Midland, Mich., is now at Central Michigan. On Jan. 13, Central Michigan held a news conference where they announced Schroll’s arrival.
“We are very pleased and happy to add Jess to our program,” said CMU coach Sue Guevara. “She brings instant experience due to playing against tough opponents in hostile arenas. I couldn’t be more pleased that Jess decided to come back home.”
Schroll will have to sit out two semesters while at Central Michigan, leaving her only one semester of eligibility. She will be able to play during the spring semester of the 2012-13 season. 

Growing up in Midland, only a short drive from where the Chippewas play, may have factored into her decision.

“I think she likes being closer to her family,” Poppens said. “She really loves hanging with her family.”

ISU coach Bill Fennelly addressed Schroll’s decision in a news conference on Jan. 2, just after she left the team. Fennelly said Schroll thought “she’d be happier at home” and that “we certainly wish her the best and appreciate her time and effort.”

Fennelly has since declined to discuss the matter further.

Another thing Poppens and Mansfield both said might have factored into her decision was that she might not have had the thick skin that it takes to deal with the pressure of playing at Iowa State.

“Some people deal with it differently,” Mansfield said. “I think maybe she couldn’t deal with it anymore.” 

Poppens said that “some people just don’t have that mentality.”

Schroll’s presence on the basketball court has been missed. She averaged 6.9 points and 3.6 rebounds in 10 starts this season. Her presence as a teammate will be missed come senior night for Mansfield. 

“I’m sure on senior night when one of my best friends on the team isn’t there it’s going to be hard, but you have to move on,” Mansfield said. 

Even with being a Division I athlete and playing in the ever-competitive Big 12, Schroll said she is going to miss being a part of it. 

“I’m going to miss playing at Hilton,” Schroll said. “I’m going to miss the Hilton fans a lot, and I’m going to miss that atmosphere. The students that came to watch us play were great. … I just think that it was a great place for me to play, but now I’m at Central Michigan, and I’m playing here.”

Leaving right before the gauntlet of Big 12 play began was an “inconvenient time for [Schroll] to go,” Poppens said, but the entire team respects and supports her decision.

“We had a team meeting and talked about it,” Mansfield said. “We said, ‘No, she’s going to do what’s best for her.’ And if that’s what was best for her, then that’s what she needs to do. So we completely understand and we support her with her decision.”