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