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South Carolina Team: An Undefeated Season

South+Carolina+Team%3A+An+Undefeated+Season
Lucy Spencer

The South Carolina Women’s Basketball Team completed their undefeated season on April 7 to become the first team to go undefeated throughout the whole season since 2016 by defeating the Iowa Hawks 87-75.
This game was an important one to win because all the players wanted to win it for Team Coach Dawn Staley at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio.
Staley was caught in her emotions after the game as she was asked how they got to this point and how she was able to bring out the best in her players.
In her interview with ESPN, Staley said, “you have to let young people be who they are … but you also have to guide and navigate them. They made history.”
Staley received praise from Iowa Head Coach Lisa Bluder whom they just beat in the national championship.
As Bluder told the press after the game, she said, “She’s (Staley) a tremendous recruiter, tremendous motivator, a tremendous example … for a while it was Pat (Summit), then it was Geno (Auriemma).” Auriemma and Summit were both coaches that led generational dynasties for their respective colleges, Tennessee and UConn.
“And now it’s Dawn setting the bar for everyone else,” Bluder said.
Senior Guard Te-Hina Paopao, who was a pivotal piece throughout the season, shared what the team has been through, the emotions flowing through the team, and how it contributed to this amazing and unforgettable season.
According to The Daily Gamecock, South Carolina’s student newspaper, Paopao said, “It’s been a long journey. We’ve trusted each other so much over the season. We have so much confidence with each other, so much love … throughout this whole program, throughout this whole team, to cap it off with a perfect season is just a blessing.”
This South Carolina team impressed many people this season including Freshman Brendan Camp.
Camp was able to catch a couple of the games in this Women’s March Madness tournament, and was very impressed by the level of play compared to previous years.
“South Carolina’s undefeated run was extremely impressive, especially with the high level of competition in women’s college basketball this year, and their ability to win the close games they were in this year was remarkable,” Camp said.
Camp, who is an avid sports viewer and enjoyer, was not able to watch the championship game. Nonetheless, Camp was able to share his thoughts on how this South Carolina team got so popular and how this team might increase the popularity of the women’s game in the future.
Camp said, “I think this South Carolina team and also many of the other teams in this year’s tournament have really made a difference in the popularity of women’s sports. They have been able to increase media coverage, game coverage, and fan support through their performances and that is exciting for the future of women’s sports.”
This is just one of ten occasions that there has been a college women’s team that has gone undefeated for an entire season and finished it with a championship.
Freshman Kelton Rogers, who was one of the 18.9 million viewers of the national championship, agreed with Camp in the sense that this year was a great year to grow the popularity of women’s basketball for the youth especially.
Rogers said, “I think it’s great for the sport and I think it will continue to grow to become bigger and better.”

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