Today: Jun 17, 2024

Webb travels from South Africa to compete for the Owls

Luke Gadson – Sports Editor

The Owls find talent from all around the world to come to the university and compete in various sports. Midfield Ruby Webb is a freshman from East Cape, South Africa, and she is a great example of the diversity in the Owls’ athletics. 

When finding athletes from different countries, the recruitment process does not come as easy as usual. “Obviously, being from South Africa, it wasn’t something where we could get there to actually see her. We had video and a number of virtual chats, so we were just able to have that conversation with her and find out the person she is, and that’s really the big piece of it,” said Head Field Hockey Coach Kelley Frassinelli. 

Webb felt welcomed by the program from her very first interaction.  “Coach Fras sent a very welcoming email back to me and we started chatting. I met some other teammates and they seemed very nice; I liked the team dynamic. She then made an offer and I committed,” said Webb. 

Having players from different countries, they bring values and experiences that can contribute to the team. “We certainly are looking for diversity. We also have a player from Argentina, so having that ability to have them interact and give perspective while they see things through a different lens is a huge bonus for our team,” said Coach Frassinelli. 

But, coming with that, are new things that Webb may need to accommodate that are different than playing field hockey in South Africa. “It’s also her on this side of it and learning the new things that we’re trying to show her while she’s here. But I think the most interesting fact is that when they’re playing where she’s from, they play on turf all the time, but it isn’t astro. When you come here, to a division two institution, you’re playing on a filled surface so it’s a little bit different,” said Coach Frassinelli. 

For Webb, of course there were some nerves initially, but she is adjusting well to her new team. “In preseason, it was really nerve wracking. It was also a little intimidating because a few of them have been playing together already for a few years. But they were very welcoming, friendly and including and now I am really comfortable with all of them. They’re basically like my new family,” said Webb. 

Webb’s teammates also seem to be fond of her presence whether it is on the field or not. “She is a great friend on and off the field. She’s very vocal about how she feels on the field, and she will help anybody. She’s just a really good player and helpful, when need be,” said defender Kelsey Spencer, a freshman. 

Teammates, Webb and Spencer, both expressed their desires to continue to win for the remainder of the season so that they can finish well in the conference standings. Coach Frassinelli is proud of what she’s seen from Webb thus far to help the team accomplish that goal. “Knowing her abilities, she’s somebody that we wanted here in our program to help us build. She’s done everything we’ve expected from her so far,” said Coach Frassinelli. 

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