With the UC Bearcat student-athlete family studying hard and taking finals these next few days, it's a good time to look back at the fall and see what's been accomplished, and what lies ahead.
First, congrats to the Bearcat volleyball team for its terrific season and the NCAA bid. Although the tournament didn't turn out the way the 'Cats would have liked, it still bodes well for the future.
Now, to a look back at the Women's Skyline Crosstown Shootout. Looking at it on paper, it sure looked to be UC's year. But as we've seen in this annual city battle, top teams can get knocked off by the underdog. Just ask the UC men when they faced Xavier as the top team in the country and left as the second best in the city. Or the UC women almost five years ago when they faced a top 20-ranked Xavier team, with the same five players for the entire game except for a few seconds at the end, and came away with the Kendle Cup. That's why the games aren't played on paper.
With an early Louisville game yet this month ahead to open the BIG EAST season, the Cats got a good test as to what will face them in conference. It's a valuable lesson in confidence, in staying within the game plan, in not relaxing for even a moment.
But the most important thing that came out of last Sunday's game was that it was a terrific contest. If you were there, you saw two very good teams, with lots of local talent, battle it out for city bragging rights. It was basketball at its best, and it was good to see as many youth teams there to watch how these two teams played. It was tough but it was fair with good sportsmanship. And with any luck, some of the folks who attended liked what they saw and will be back.
Because that's what the Crosstown Shootout is all about--letting people sample, for the first time, some great women's basketball. Because once you sample it, there's a good chance you'll come to a second game--and a third--and more.
Good luck to all the student-athletes during test time. We'll see you back on the court soon.