Published March 17, 2016
COLUMBUS — Karin Moss knew what she was getting into when she joined the UB women’s basketball program as a freshman for the 2012-13 season. Expectations for the Bulls were low at that point. UB’s last winning season was a decade earlier.
But Moss and another fellow freshman — Mackenzie Loesing — had a feeling. “We knew there wasn’t a lot of winning history here. But we both said there’s something special about this program that just drew us in and we wanted to be a part of it, to grow something special,” Moss says.
It didn’t just grow. It exploded. Now, Moss is the lone senior — Loesing had to cut her career short last year due to injury — leading the Bulls into uncharted territory. As the MAC tournament champion, UB is here as the No. 14 seed to play third-seeded Ohio State in the first round of the NCAA tournament. This is the first-ever NCAA appearance for the UB women.
“This is something you dream about as a kid. To be able to live it, it’s surreal,” Moss said Wednesday evening shortly after the team arrived here for Friday’s game on Ohio State’s home court; tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. on ESPN2.
As the 14 seed, the Bulls are expected to lose. But Moss has other plans. “I’m looking forward to making a bracket buster,” says Moss, who happens to be related to one of the greatest wide receivers in NFL history — that would be Randy Moss, her father’s second cousin.
The Bulls have made significant strides each year since Moss’ freshman season, which was also the program’s first under head coach Felisha Legette-Jack. They won 12 games that year, then 17 the following season. Last year they won 19 games while earning the first-ever WNIT appearance in program history.
“We’ve just gotten better every year I’ve been here. It’s exciting. A lot of the credit goes to the coaching staff,” says Moss, who hails from Troy, Michigan. “It just goes to show that if you put in the work and believe, you can achieve anything.”
While it’s still a bit of a shock that she’s playing in the NCAA tournament as a senior, Moss is equally surprised to be playing alongside four Australians, which is the case this year with Stephanie Reid (who scored the winning bucket for UB in overtime in the MAC tournament title game), Courtney Wilkins and twins Liisa and Katherine Ups on the roster.
“That came out of left field, but they’re great. They are so fun and different,” Moss says, noting the Netherlands, Canada and Bosnia & Herzegovina are also represented on the Bulls roster this year. “There are so many different cultures under one roof. It’s been a lot of fun.”