Twenty-nine years. That is how long Stanford waited to be crowned the NCAA Women’s Basketball Champions. In a year like no other, the Cardinals gave it all they had, and it paid off.
A Year Like No Other
Stanford has been standing by since 1992, ready for their turn to cut down the net in celebration. Playing against college’s best and in a season plagued by COVID was no easy task. Several teams felt the burden left by the pandemic including Stanford. The Cardinals spent 10 weeks on the road due to the coronavirus. Sophomore guar Haley Jones was overjoyed following her team’s championship win. She spoke about how their win can’t be discredited–that it means more to win in a COVID year.
Waiting 29 years to cut down the net again, the view from the top can take time before it feels real. Head coach Tara VanDerveer took over the Cardinal program in 1996. She had a dream, a vision, a hope. To one day see her team be the last one standing. They did. With the title in her hands, she says that the reality will take time to sink it.
Stanford Wins 54-53
A nail-biter it was as Arizona launched a ball in the final seconds in hopes to change the outcome their way. But, it was unsuccessful. The buzzer rang and the Cardinals stormed the court overcome with excitement for what they have achieved. Haley Jones scored 17 points to help her team take home the win. She recalls the final moments of the game happening in slow motion. Additionally, she recalled watching Arizona’s final shot.
It took 29 years for the trophy to go to the Cardinals. Since 1992, they made 10 Final Four appearances. Finally, in 2021, they were the champions.