Sunday, February 28, 2010

ODU clinches top seed in CAA tourney

They didn't cut down any nets at the Siegel Center in Richmond on Sunday because it was back to business as usual for the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs. They beat VCU to win the regular season, clinching the top seed for the CAA tournament. If anybody's counting, they've now won it all in the CAA 18 of the last 19 years.

Most of the Lady Monarch faithful doubted it after ODU's gloomy nonconference finish. But we're patting ourselves on the back, just a bit, for recognizing the ace in the hole: Wendy Larry. Come to ODU and Larry instills in you the value of the CAA. It didn't work last year. It hasn't always been pretty this year. But the Lady Monarchs made play after play down the stretch to pull out the close games they needed to in order to receive a No. 1 seed. This team has no first-team all-league conference players, though we'd like to see Jasmine Parker the nod. That's not a surprise. ODU hasn't had one superstar for years. Larry pieced this team together brick by brick, which shouldn't be a surprise to anyone who knows her resume.

She's our Coach of the Year for meshing together a team full of youth that had to hold up while senior Jessica Canady healed. Parker had to heal, too, from the devastating loss of her brother. How about Vicki Collier, leaping again despite two braces climbing up her legs? Tia Lewis making a shot with six tenths of a second left versus Georgia State? The triumph over Madison in Harrisonburg?

CAA tournament is coming up. Who ya picking?

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