University of Maine women's basketball player Anne Simon (3) competes against the University of Vermont during the 2021-22 season. Credit: Seth Poplaski / UMaine Athletics

University of Maine senior guard and reigning America East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year Anne Simon was supposed to be playing her second game back from a high ankle sprain on Thursday night at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

But a snowstorm in Wisconsin canceled the game.

The 5-foot-8 Simon, who had missed eight games before playing 11 minutes in Sunday’s 84-56 loss at Harvard, said she had mixed feelings about the cancellation.

“I was excited about being able to play another game to see how it feels, but it is also probably good to get my ankle some rest, too,” Simon said.

The game against Harvard was Simon’s first after suffering the injury in a 55-46 loss to Yale on Nov. 19. Her return to the lineup is good news for UMaine, which has lost five of its last six games and went 4-8 in its non-conference schedule.

UMaine will open its 16-game America East schedule at Bryant University on Dec. 29 in Smithfield, Rhode Island.

“We’ve played a tough non-conference schedule. When Anna [Kahelin] and I went down, it definitely wasn’t easy for the other players. We have a young team. A lot of players don’t have much experience. It was hard in the beginning, but the players figured out their roles,” Simon said.

Senior guard Kahelin suffered a season-ending knee injury in the first game of the season after appearing in just eight games the previous two seasons due to two other knee injuries.

Simon is optimistic about the season despite the 4-8 record.

“In some games, we didn’t play well. But, in other games, you saw how good we can be. Even in games in which we didn’t play well, we showed that we could have been in the game,” she said.

Her ankle felt good after the game against Harvard, and said she didn’t feel winded as she tried to stay in shape while out with the injury.

“It was good to be back and knowing that I would be able to play again,” Simon said. “And the coaches did a good job subbing me in and out.”

She still gets physical therapy on her right ankle before and after practice and she ices it.

It does still hurt from time to time, but Simon said it feels better than it did a few weeks ago.

She is wearing braces on both ankles “to prevent another injury.”

Simon is the school’s 13th leading career scorer with 1,204 points and she is 44 points behind Ashleigh Roberts in 12th spot.

The Sandweiler, Luxembourg, native is coming off a season in which she averaged an America East-leading 16 points per game to go with 5 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 2 assists.

She averaged a team-high 12 ppg through the first three games this season along with 4 rebounds.

UMaine has won four of the last five America East regular season championships and also won two tournament championships but it lost in the last two title games in Orono to Stony Brook (2020-21) and Albany (2021-22).

“We want to start our conference games on a good note at Bryant,” said Simon, who has focused on being a good leader on and off the court.

“I’ve just tried to help them out as much as I can.”