Windsor Lancers

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This is Your Team - A Fan's Perspective

Let me for a moment drop the reporter perspective and turn into a fan. I promise, it will only take a few minutes.

As a senior at the University of Hartford set to graduate in May, I have seen firsthand for four years what the Hartford Hawks women's basketball team means to this school.

I remember going to my first game in Chase Family Arena as a freshman. I was sitting in the student section for a game against Seton Hall. Unfortunately, Hartford lost that game. However, that was the last time the Hawks lost at Chase before ripping off 26 straight home wins.

As a sophomore, I watched most of the games from that student section. However, when Hartford hosted the America East tournament, I was given the opportunity to work for sports information. I was only answering phones, but I began to see the game differently.

The Hawks won that tournament, and I felt a sense of pride by association. I went to Hartford. That was my team.

I watched that team win in the NCAA tournament over Syracuse. Thanks to some late-game magic, I was able to feel that pride again.

Fast forward, now two years later, to today. The Hawks once again are in the NCAA tournament. The difference for me now is I get to watch the game from just behind press row. Now, instead of simply watching the game, I get to cover it, too.

While I do see the games in a bit of a different light, I am still very much a fan. When the team was ranked this season for the first time in school history, when they played for the America East Championship and when they were selected as an at-large bid to the tournament, I again felt that pride. This is my team, and it always will be.

For that pride, I would like to thank the young women on the team. They have made my four years at Hartford special as both a student and as a fan.

Speaking as a fan, and for the fans, even in defeat the Hartford Hawks women's basketball team instills that Hawk pride in all of us. To the team, I say thank you. Keep it up. You are great.

It's been an amazing ride.

Post by Keith Arsenault – Senior Communications Major

Pregame Rituals - Dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse

The night before taking on LSU in the NCAA tournament, the Hartford Hawks women's basketball team had dinner together at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse.

Ruth's Chris is perhaps becoming a team ritual the night before a tournament game. In Baton Rouge in 2008, the Hawks had their Friday night meal at the restaurant. The next day, the Hawks, a 10 seed, upset Syracuse, a seven seed.

The Hawks, again a 10 seed, are trying to recreate that magic. In Louisiana, University of Hartford President Walter Harrison arrived at the restaurant midway through the meal. This year, Harrison was again fashionably late.

The dinner was enjoyed by all in attendance, including special guest Tom Reich. The efforts of Reich made the dinner at Ruth's Chris possible.

Blog by Keith Arsenault - Senior Communications Major

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hawks Catch Their Prey

The culinary tastes of the Hawks ranged from seafood dishes such as a variety of chicken and pasta dishes and even a buffet.

"It was amazing," junion guard Jackie Smith said of her lobster ravioli. The notion was seconded by freshman guard Daphne Elliott, who ordered the same dish.

Additionally, Smith said that her meal "dominated" that of junior guard Amanda Weaver. Weaver's plate featured stuffed shrimp.

Senior forwards Diana Delva and Erica Beverly had a more difficult time selecting just one thing. Instead, the adventurous pair sampled the buffet.

Delva described the buffet as a "first-time experience" in regards to the various dishes she tried. "I don't know what it is, but it's good."

Beverly was equally impressed by the selection, grading the buffet an A-.

Unfortunately for three Hawks, senior center Kacey Pratt, sophomore guard Ilicia Mathis and frehman Ruthanne Doherty, the mead did not go as planned. They could not eat their meals. Pratt's chicken dish was still cold.

"Rough start," Doherty said. Optimistically though, she and her teammates did mention that they enjoyed their earlier meal, sandwiches from Subway on the way to the hotel.

Blog by Keith Arsenault - Senior Communications Major

Hawks Head to Durham

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The Hartford Hawks women's basketball team left West Hartford this morning headed for Durham, NC, and a date with the Louisiana State University Tigers Saturday afternoon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Hawks were sent on their way by a crowd of well-wishers, all hoping for a Hawks victory.

The rally of fans put a smile on the faces of the players, who understand the opportunity that lies ahead of them.

"I'm so excited," freshman guard Alex Hall said. "I've always wanted to go to the NCAA tournament and I can't believe it's happening now."

"We're really excited as a team," senior guard Jenna Peterson said.

Peterson is one of the players on this year's team that won a game in the NCAA tournament in 2008. However, Peterson, now a starter, did not see much playing time as a sophomore in 2008.
While the team is excited to be in the tournament, they realize that just making it is not the goal. There is work to be done.

"Our practices have been getting increasingly better, and we'll see after tomorrow's practice how we feel," Peterson said.

As she sees it, the team is ready to match up against LSU. With that in mind, the Hawks are hoping once again to return to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

Recall in 2008, the Hawks advanced to the second round by defeating Syracuse in Baton Rouge, in LSU's gym. On Saturday, the Hawks will need to go through the LSU team, not the gym, to advance.

Blog by Keith Arsenault - Senior Communications Major

Thursday, March 11, 2010

An America East Tournament Update by Mary Silvia

This past weekend, both the men’s and women’s quarterfinal and semifinal games were played at the University of Hartford, bringing big crowds and lots of excitement. Our student section was very supportive and included the Red Army, a new student fan group, who had some very creative chants.

On Friday night, we played UNH, and after a slow first half, we cruised to a 68-35 win. At practice Saturday afternoon we prepared for our semifinal game against Stony Brook, which we knew would be physical and come down to a toughness battle! Basketball is a physical game, and this was evident on Sunday afternoon. But we won the toughness battle and the game, with our bench outscoring Stony Brook’s bench 44-0 and our team winning the rebounding battle 42-29.

Now we have this week to prepare for the championship game against Vermont on Saturday night. I hope all of our fans can join us as we look for another championship this season. Click Here to Purchase Tickets

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Senior Day Memorable on All Fronts by Erica Beverly

What an awesome atmosphere senior night was. It had all kinds of emotions in the air from happiness to excitement to bitter-sweetness. It was a great night to celebrate with family, teammates and fans. Although, at the start of the ceremony I was struggling to keep my tears down, ultimately, it was a victorious day! So I was very proud to be a part of the great atmosphere.

The game was fantastic too. We played very hard and stayed focus on what we set out to do and that was to win our first Championship of the season with a complete 16-0 in conference. I love the fact that this team has trust within it, because it makes playing together so much more relaxing and enjoyable. All in all, to share senior day with my wonderful teammates and coaches was very special to me. I love them; they are my second family that has been with me throughout my college years guiding me to greatness - I thank them very much!

In the end, I was very grateful to be honored with my senior class, as well as, being appreciated by the Hartford family.