Senior forward Mariah Sexe dribbles past an opponent while playing a game against University of Minnesota. Sexe was co-captain of the women’s basketball team last year and is a strong leader for the team. (Courtesy of Justin Lafleur)

Mariah Sexe serves as integral leader for women’s basketball

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Lehigh women’s basketball senior forward Mariah Sexe plays an integral role as a captain on her team. 

Despite only starting in 15 out of 30 games as a junior, averaging 4.5 points in 14.3 minutes, Sexe was a co-captain last year. Several of her coaches and teammates boast about her people skills as well as her passion for the sport.

Although associate head coach Addie Micir is only in her second season on staff, she said she has witnessed the qualities of Mariah Sexe firsthand. 

“I was not involved in the process of naming Mariah captain because I only came in to start last year, but in taking time to get to know her, I think she is someone that leads really well relationally,” Micir said. 

Micir said Sexe has a natural ability to connect with almost anyone on a one-on-one level. Micir said that connection is something the team needed, and Sexe brought it as one of her strengths. 

Sexe said she believes it was the strong relationships she was able to establish with teammates that contributed most in her role as captain.

“Being a junior captain was definitely an honor, and I was super excited to step into that role,” Sexe said.

Junior guard Katie Rice, ‘22, said she believes the reason that Sexe was named co-captain as a junior was because of her level headed nature and leadership ability. She said she thinks Sexe had a great voice to balance out the seniors and underclassmen from last year. 

“She’s a great person to talk to outside of basketball,” Rice said. “She’s just very understanding.”

Micir said the pandemic has been challenging for the team, especially from a relationship building perspective. She said it was important for captains to be intentional about figuring out the individual needs of team members due to the absence of their group dynamic.

Sexe said while the pandemic has made her role as a captain difficult, she has persisted and is adamant about taking charge as needed. 

“A lot of it was trying to find ways to connect virtually which had its challenges, but we really wanted to make sure we got to know our first-years and touch base with all of our teammates regularly,” Sexe said.

The pandemic has brought about some restrictions, but Sexe has been able to stay on top of her role as captain. 

“I think she does a great job of holding our teammates accountable to training,” Rice said. “I also think she does a great job of being a leader in things like wearing a mask and making good social decisions.”

Sexe said she and her team are remaining hopeful in securing a season. The Patriot League has yet to announce a decision on winter sports.

Sexe said she hopes to win the Patriot League Championship and said she knows she and her team are capable of doing so. She said the cancellation of their 2019-2020 season in the middle of the Patriot League Tournament has provided them with more motivation than ever before. 

Sexe said after graduation, she plans on taking a gap year to hopefully get a job as a medical scribe and then apply to physician assistant school and get her master’s as a PA. For now though, her focus remains on women’s basketball.

As the season approaches, Micir is confident Sexe will leave the program better than she found it.

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