Time to recognize the women’s team

Jessie Markovetz

They went 28-6 last season, with a 12-4 record in the Big East. They lost only twice on their home court en route to a season that ended in the team’s first-ever Big East championship and the upset of a team that hadn’t lost a game in years.

Yet the women’s basketball team played to a crowd often numbering less than 1,000 in games held at the Pavilion last season.

It’s time for Villanova fans to start paying attention to this talented group of women. While fans shouldn’t abandon their devotion to the men’s team, the reputation that coach Jay Wright’s boys have cultivated has not exactly been a pillar of Augustinian virtue. The phone access scandal that dashed the team’s hopes last year will continue to be a factor this season, as players continue to sit out games in accordance with NCAA penalties handed down last season.

The women have been just the opposite, providing Villanova with the ultimate feel-good story: earning the nickname “Streak Busters” by popping UConn’s 70-game winning streak and capturing the conference championship before dancing to the Elite Eight in March.

The old excuse that women’s games aren’t as engaging as the men’s doesn’t cut it anymore – many of the final point totals per game last season bled into the 70s and 80s, and losses were often by just one or two points. And while head coach Harry Perretta might not be the campus sex symbol that coach Wright is, he’s certainly earned his reputation as a formidable head coach, compiling a 465-262 record over his 25 years with the team.

So give the women a chance to call on destiny again. After last season’s heroics, steady attendance is the least they deserve.