Storrs, Connecticut has become title town and you can welcome the UConn women’s championship team home today.
UConn defeated Notre Dame, 79 to 58, last night and the 2014 NCAA national champs returned from Nashville this afternoon and landed at Bradley International Airport around 3 p.m.
The women arrived back in Storrs to take a victory loop through campus on an open-air double decker bus, accompanied by the UConn pep band and cheerleaders.
Coach Geno Auriemma and senior players Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley took the podium to share their excitement express gratitude to the fans.
"Winning is great, but if you win by yourself, it's not as meaningful," Auriemma said. "What makes it even bigger is that we're able to share it with the men's team, and we're able to share it with every student athlete on this campus, because whenever we do something like this, we don't just do it for ourselves. We do it for all of you. ... We do it in a way that is really impressive and we do it in a way that represents who we are."
Dolson took the mic next and broke down during her heartfelt thank-you.
"Four years ago, when I came here, I wasn't sure," she explained. "You know, Storrs, Connecticut isn't the most exciting place... but it wasn't the activities we could do that made me come here. It was the people; it was the feeling that I got when I walked on this campus. And being able to play in front of you guys for four years has been an honor and I'm going to miss it a lot."
Hartley echoed Dolson's feelings and also got emotional at the podium.
"That moment yesterday when I was coming off the court was the most special moment in my career," she said. "To end that season perfect, going 40-0 with my teammates, going through all the years with this coaching staff. ... I think I'm just so proud of this school and being ale to come here and play for this university. Because everything we do, we do it with such class and we make people earn our respect every day."
Hartley also turned to Auriemma and said, "Coach, you mean so much to me through all the years here, and I love you so much." She said she wouldn't be the person she is today without his guidance and support