Ex-Kittanning forward closes out RMU career in NCAA Tournament
College Football Videos
Britta Emberg's college basketball career has had a tough final season, but it will come to an end on her sport's big stage.
Emberg, a Kittanning grad and senior forward on the Robert Morris women's basketball team, will join her teammates in the Colonials' first NCAA Tournament game since 2008 when they face No. 1 seed Notre Dame in the first round at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Toledo, Ohio.
After having a regular role in the Colonials' rotation earlier in her career, Emberg has appeared in only three games this season after recovering from major knee surgery during the offseason. In spite of the limited on-court role, Emberg is excited that her career will end with her first Northeast Conference title and first NCAA Tournament experience.
“Coming from a small school like Kittanning to go to a Division I program doesn't happen very often,” Emberg said. “To go to NCAAs and get a (NEC championship) ring my senior year, I'm so happy.”
The announcement of the NCAA pairings Monday night was a nervous time for Emberg and her teammates. As a 21-11 team coming from a small conference, Robert Morris expected to draw a low seed and a difficult opponent.
The Colonials avoided perennial powerhouse and No. 1-ranked Connecticut in the first matchup announced, but their draw didn't improve too much by being paired with the Fighting Irish, who are ranked No. 2 with a 32-0 record.
“We expected UConn, and I know some of us kind of wanted them to have that experience of playing No. 1. We were real anxious to see who we got when it wasn't them,” Emberg said. “It was surreal at first, the whole experience. Those selection shows are the kind of thing I used to watch on TV and fill out my own bracket. I never thought I'd be a part of one.”
After spending much of the early part of this season continuing to rehabilitate her knee, Emberg finally saw her first game action Jan. 13, when she scored two points in two minutes against Fairleigh Dickinson.
Emberg says her knee is 100 percent, and on a Robert Morris team that has relied heavily on contributions from underclassmen, she's been doing what she can to help her team during this run.
“It's hard to jump back in midway through the season, but I've really tried to help use my experience to push these girls,” Emberg said. “Most of our girls are freshmen or sophomores, and they've done a tremendous job of picking things up and playing well. I couldn't be more proud of them.”
Barring one of the biggest upsets in NCAA Tournament history — a No. 16 seed has beaten a No. 1 seed once in men or women — Saturday will be Emberg's final game in a Robert Morris uniform.
Regardless of the outcome, and regardless of whether or not she plays, the psychology major from Kittanning is happy to go out with her team on top.
“These four years have been incredible,” she said. “To be surrounded by the teammates I've had these four years and to get to play high-level basketball, I'm so glad I took this opportunity.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- LaBar: Best next opponent for Brock Lesnar
- Pirates rout Cardinals to keep things interesting in NL Central
- At least one dead in Beaver County fire
- Rossi: Baseball needs a new schedule
- Munhall councilman who assaulted colleague won’t be charged
- Steelers remain confident in defense
- South Allegheny begins year with upgrades, contract uncertainty
- Penn State Greater Allegheny welcomes return of bus route to campus
- Armstrong River Hawks make their debut
- Ford City Express may be back on track by Christmas
- ‘Stand Down’ aims to lift up needy in Armstrong, Clarion counties