Villanovans Need to Show Up for Female Athletes


Courtesy of Olivia Pasquale/Villanovan Photography

Villanova students should show greater support to our womens’ athletic teams.

Lauryn Hayes, Staff Writer

As we continue to celebrate Women’s History Month, I figured it would be important to commemorate Villanova’s women’s sports teams and all of their accomplishments. 

Coming into Villanova’s D1 sports program, the pressure is on and the expectations are high for all student-athletes. Most have been training for their respective sport since childhood and take great pride in their skills and individual accomplishments. However, the extensive efforts of these players, especially female athletes, have been largely overlooked due to the dominating presence of male sports on our campus.

“Basketball is important to me because of the connections and opportunities it brings me,” said Christina Dalce, a freshman on the women’s basketball team. “Because of basketball, I was able to make friends from all over the country as well as have the opportunity to showcase my skills at the collegiate level. Besides all that, the sport really does bring me joy and happiness, especially when times get tough. It’s a way to escape the hardships of reality sometimes.”

I remember the first women’s basketball game I went to at the Finneran Pavilion in the fall. I was excited to support the team and see them in action after a successful 2020-21 season. It was Nov. 10, the day after the first men’s basketball game. The difference in student turnout was stunning.

Just one day before, Villanova students flocked to support our men’s team, but for our women’s team, the exact opposite occurred.

I immediately thought of our female athletes and how they must feel in the face of such unequal support from our student body.

  “Members of the Villanova community can help the team by spreading the word of when we have games and supporting them when we are at home or have local games,” Dalce said.

“Since the season is practically over, next year is a great chance to support us no matter if the opposing team is easy or not because we have a really good team in my opinion.” 

Despite the lack of support on the home front, this did not stop our women’s basketball team from having a great 2021-22 season and finishing second in its conference.

In talking to Dalce and seeing the lack of support for our women’s basketball team with my own eyes, I encourage the Villanova community to actively show up for our women’s basketball team, and demonstrate our appreciation for all of their hard work.

Outside of basketball, I noticed a similar  lack of engagement and recognition of our other women’s sports teams that deserve the same levels of support as well. I asked Sanaä Barnes, a member of our women’s volleyball and track and field teams, why she is passionate about playing sports.

“For me volleyball is important because of the community it gives me,” Barnes said. “I have gained many friends through the sport.” 

“When it comes to track, I enjoy it because it is the one thing where I feel free from everything, but it also is a space for me to continue to test my limits and excel at heights I never thought was possible.”

Participating in sports impacts Barnes competitively and socially, and her passion and effort for both sports are truly remarkable. I asked Sydney Bianchi of our women’s water polo team how we can better support her team.

“Come watch our games in Jake Nevin,” she said. “We play all spring.” 

The grind never stops for members of our women’s teams. The skills they gain and the accomplishments they achieve should be recognized and celebrated by the greater Villanova community. Game schedules, results and team accomplishments can be seen on our women’s teams’ Instagrams.

The pressure is on, then, for the Villanova community. It’s our duty to fill in the gaps and support our women’s teams.

Ultimately, showcasing our support for women’s sports teams will leave a lasting impression on our female athletes and the Villanova community at large.