University of Richmond Remembers Victims of Balloon Accident - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

University of Richmond Remembers Victims of Balloon Accident

Posted: Updated:
Friends and staff say Natalie Lewis (left) and Ginny Doyle made impacts in different ways - Lewis with her bubbly, happy personality and Doyle with her guidance and experience. Friends and staff say Natalie Lewis (left) and Ginny Doyle made impacts in different ways - Lewis with her bubbly, happy personality and Doyle with her guidance and experience.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - On Wednesday, the University of Richmond will remember the two members of the women's basketball staff who died in Friday's hot air balloon crash.

Natalie Lewis' and Ginny Doyle's friends, teammates, coaches and administrators talked about what they meant to their teams and to the university. They made impacts in different ways - Natalie Lewis with her bubbly, happy personality and Ginny Doyle with her guidance and experience.

Those that worked with them and played for them will miss both dearly.

"It's been a roller coaster of a weekend for sure," says UR basketball player Becca Wann, holding back tears.

At her graduation Sunday, it was a different story.

"We had the moment of silence. I had tears streaming down my face because I would have loved nothing better than to take a picture with them on my graduation day."

Wann says Associate Head Coach Ginny Doyle was the program's backbone. She says former Spider swimmer and Director of Basketball Operations Natalie Lewis taught her how to swim and kept her smiling.

"I started crying at practice one day. Afterwards -- Nat knows how much I love dried fruit -- there was a pack of dried fruit and a handwritten post-it that said 'hope this dried fruit helps dry those wet eyes I saw today.' That was her."

Katie Sieben swam with Lewis in 2010 and 2011. They stayed close after Lewis graduated.

"She was always smiling," she says. "I was actually trying to think; I don't think I've ever seen her in a bad mood, and I don't think I've ever seen her have a bad day. Everybody knows Natalie, and everybody is better for it.

Doyle leaves behind a championship legacy and a decade and a half of lives improved through basketball.

"You know how rare that is?" says Keith Gill, University of Richmond's Director of Athletics. "She's been here for 16 years. She really was the rock kind of behind our program."

Two Spiders. Two athletes. Two women. Too many broken hearts.

"We lost both, and I think that's unfortunate for the basketball and swimming and diving families and the entire University, really," says UR Swim and Dive Coach Matt Barany.

The University of Richmond will hold a memorial service for Natalie Lewis and Ginny Doyle Wednesday morning at the Cannon Memorial Chapel at 10 a.m.

Related Stories:

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Deadly Doswell Hot Air Balloon Accident

PHOTOS: Hot Air Balloon Tragedy in Doswell
Powered by WorldNow

301 Arboretum Place, Richmond
VA, 23236

Telephone: 804.330.8888
Fax: 804.330.8881
Email: news@wric.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.