Seniors share tears, joys of winning season

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

GREENCASTLE -- Kristy Mahon couldn't help but shed a few tears when asked about how much time she got to see action during her four years at DePauw Tuesday.

The senior saw little action on the court during her tenure with the Tigers, but still was a part of school history after the Tigers defeated Washington-St. Louis, 55-52, in the finals of the NCAA Division III Tournament Saturday.

On Tuesday, the senior players were the highlight of a lecture emceed by DePauw faculty member Ken Bode.

Bode asked Mahon about her playing time at DePauw.

"Many times during my freshman and sophomore years were difficult. There were many times I wanted to quit, but I didn't," Mahon said as she broke down in tears.

Mahon was one of five seniors that all played an integral part on a squad that made history.

She, along with Liz Bondi, Suzy Doughty, Bridget Bailey and Caitlin McGonigal, were front and center Tuesday in the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media's Watson Forum for a special Gertrude and G.D. Crain Jr. Lecture titled, "In a class of their own: The DePauw women's basketball team."

Following the lecture, Mahon told the BannerGraphic that despite her playing time, she was glad to be a part of something so special.

"It's about being a part of a team," she said. "It's more than individual accomplishments. I'm so proud I stayed with it."

Following the final buzzer Saturday, the players weren't really sure if the game was over. Bondi said she immediately looked at McGonigal at the end of the game.

"We just ran for each other," Bondi said.

Despite being on the sideline with a better opportunity to realize the game was in fact over, DePauw coach Kris Huffman told the BannerGraphic Tuesday she wasn't sure it was when the buzzer sounded.

"I saw the red light and I was kind of waiting," she said. "It was kind of unbelievable."

Bondi has won individual championships in tennis, but she said winning a team championship Saturday was something different.

"You have people to celebrate with," she said.

McGonigal echoed Bondi's sentiments, saying Saturday was "a bit of a blur."

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," she said. "But it's a special moment to spend with special people."

"It's really surreal right now," Doughty added. "It's just crazy. But it's something I'm sure I'll think about in the future."

"I just froze," Bailey said. "But we bought into what (Huffman) has always told us."

Huffman told the BannerGraphic that this group of players will be missed.

"They are an amazing group from a chemistry standpoint," Huffman said. "It still doesn't seem real. But it's a great feeling of accomplishment."

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