Tuesday, March 13|
Daugherty: '... we are a dangerous team'
SEATTLE While her teammates scurried Monday to finish
papers and take final exams, Washington guard Megan Franza had only
one test on her mind: Beating Old Dominion in the first round of
the NCAA tournament.
The Huskies' leading scorer doesn't have any finals this quarter
she planned it that way. She's studying Old Dominion game film.
"You learn how to swing it by your senior year," said Franza,
who's averaging 16.4 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
"I have no stress in that area. I'm just focusing on Old
The West Region's sixth-seeded Huskies (19-9), who received an
at-large bid into the tournament, leave Tuesday for Gainesville,
Fla. They will play the No. 11-seeded Monarchs (21-8) of
Norfolk, Va., on Friday.
The Huskies are making their first NCAA appearance since 1998,
when six of the team's seniors were freshmen. They lost games at
USC and UCLA last week to finish in a three-way tie for the Pacific-10
Conference championship with Stanford and Arizona State. Stanford earned the
automatic berth to the tournament.
"We had to learn from them and get past them," senior Jill
Pimley said of the losses in Los Angeles. "We still know we're a
great team and that we can do great things in the tournament. Right
now there are too many thoughts going through my head. I'm so
excited I can't sleep."
Coach June Daugherty is stressing that her team play relaxed.
"I've been able to coach in the tournament a few times,"
Daugherty said. "We have to enjoy the moment and not get ahead of
ourselves. ... When we're relaxed and play as a team and play
focused, we are a dangerous team."
Whatever happens, the Huskies winners of seven of their last
10 games say they will look back on this season with fond
memories. They made a remarkable turnaround from last season, when
the team finished ninth in the Pac-10 at 4-14 and won only eight
"Especially compared to last year, it's so exciting to be in
this position right now," said Pimley, whose parents,
grandparents, younger brother and fiance will be there to cheer for
"I'm totally trying to appreciate every moment I have left with
Old Dominion secured an automatic bid by winning its 10th
consecutive Colonial Athletic Association title Saturday with a
66-62 victory over James Madison.
The Monarchs, who have won nine of their last 10 regular
season games under coach Wendy Larry, have an overall tournament
record of 29-16 in 17 years, including an appearance last year.
Franza says her team will be ready.
"To be able to finish at the tournament is amazing," Franza
said. "We will not be in awe of the tournament." Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories