It's hard to gauge what hurts the Huskies more right now. Is it that their season came to its end without the national championship they seemed preordained to bring home?
What about losing to a team they had already beaten?
Or that this team's current composition will not be what takes the court in the fall as four seniors leave?
Never had I seen so much anguish from a team before. Last year's loss to LSU seemed to be a new low. The tears, red eyes and noses. The choking speech pattern. None of thst came close to the magnitude of emotion displayed after the loss.
In some ways, each of the players emoted in a way similiar to their playing style.
Renee Montgomery, eyes welling up with tears, held her head up high with the confidence of a player certain of her return to this scene. Yet, she who is known for caring for everyone, cried her heart out for her team.
Tina Charles,the player coach Geno Auriemma wants to see a more forcefull and aggressive side from, blended into a corner as she cried.
Jacquie Fernandes, the rarely used sophomore was as red as a Tampa enduced sunburn. Her pulse always in time with her teammates.
Maya Moore, voice trembling but unaffraid. Much like the unknown that freshmen face, Moore went forward with the confidence of a senior.
Mel Thomas, who's heart overcame what she lacked in some basketball areas, could not be comforted as she let go of all the pain of not playing and the official end of a dream.
Brittany Hunter, fought her tears back with the determination she's shown througjout her career battling knee injuries.
Ketia Swanier, often described as a spark plug, held her own on the dais, but sat in her locker praying the pain would subside.
Charde Houston, cool in chais, was no different tonight. Calm, collected and introspective.
This was a team that had greatness in its plans but injuries and Stanford re-wrote the story. This, by no means, detracts from what they accomplished. The Huskies grew by leaps and bounds. And that makes every tear valuable.