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U of R and RIT prepare for women's basketball Sweet 16 showdown

March 08, 2018 07:50 PM

RIT and the University of Rochester are less than five miles from each other, their campuses even share the same river! 

The history of their women's basketball teams, however, could not be more different. To start, there are the banners hanging up in their gyms. The University of Rochester has a long history of success in the tournament- nine Sweet 16s in program history, with two in just the last three years.

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RIT, however, is blazing a new trail. They have just two total banners, and they both came last year. This is their first Sweet 16 in program history.

"I think there's some nerves coming into this Sweet 16, because no one's been here in our program," says Cori Okada, a junior guard for RIT.

U of R's head coach, Jim Scheible, has guided the Yellowjackets to multiple Final Fours, but says the excitement of reaching the Sweet 16 for the first time might actually be a benefit for RIT.

"I've also been on the front end of doing," he said, "and I know RIT is going to be excited and that will make them play well." 

Although RIT is excited to reach this uncharted territory, they are not just happy to be there.

"We want to prove to everybody in the country that we do belong in the top 25, the top 16 in the country," says senior guard Jessica Glaz, "And I think we're making a name for ourselves right now." 

"I think this team is on a mission," says RIT head coach Amy Reed, "We were talking about our goals at the beginning of the year, and I walked into the first meeting and said I think we can win a national championship."

The University of Rochester also isn't taking their opponent lightly.

"I think anybody can do anything, regardless of what they've done in the past, if they set their mind to it... it won't matter," says Lena Ethington, a junior guard for U of R.

The two schools may be both located on the Genesee River, but they will have to travel more than 300 miles to face each other in Massachusetts on Friday at 5 p.m.- perhaps they will wave at each other on the thruway. 

WHECTV

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