This was a good weekend to take in UC women's sports-on the road Friday night in Louisville, then a return trip to Cincinnati for the opener for the women's tennis team at Western Tennis and Fitness Club. We'll talk about the tennis opener in a moment, but first, to basketball, and it's getting down to the nitty-gritty in the BIG EAST for the Cats.
And that's where you come in. I got to see first-hand the atmosphere at the KFC Yum! Center when the Cardinals faced the Bearcats. The crowd of 9,752 was into the game from the beginning: They cheered the U of L players, the booed the refs and supported their team unconditionally for all 40 minutes. And the players responded. They were scrapping for every loose ball, they were disciplined in their plays, they didn't let up--because the crowd didn't.
What does that have to do with UC fans? Here's the deal: It's time to build that kind of atmosphere in Clifton. There are two big games this week at Fifth Third Arena, the first Tuesday night against DePaul, then Saturday's clash with UConn. We need to start creating the fan support that will help this team respond, just like the Cardinals did Friday night. Because it makes a difference. The louder you cheer, the harder they play. We have to show that we are behind this team, thick or thin. And I'll bet we'll see just how they respond to your cheers.
So here's my challenge to you: If you're a regular in the women's basketball crowd, bring a friend. Bring two, if they're free. If they can't make it on Tuesday night, bring them on Saturday night. If you haven't been to a women's basketball game in a while, check it out this week. Ask your neighbors if they want to go--especially if they have young girls who might be interested in sports. Let's start a grassroots effort, and bring more people to the games. Knock on doors in your neighborhood. Call the gals you have lunch with once a week and invite them to a game. Ask your soccer friends if they'd like their kids to see great college basketball.
This is a pivotal week for the UC program. The players need our support, now more than ever. Let's show the Bearcats we're behind them, one ticket at a time.
Now, for women's tennis: Make the trip out Glenway to watch the UC tennis team take on IU. The Hoosiers are nationally ranked, so it was a tough test for the tennis Bearcats. But it's nice to see tennis back and as Coach Angela Wilson noted before the match, this is the first time in a while that she's had a healthy, full roster. She's looking for big things for this squad. Check 'em out at the Western Tennis and Fitness Center for the first half of the home schedule, then on campus for the last half.