By Matt Leon
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 2013-14 season has already been an incredible ride for the Division III Haverford College women’s basketball team. And there is still more to come.
With a record of 23-3, Haverford won the Centennial Conference title for the first time in program history and now they are getting ready to play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The Fords will take on Rhode Island College in the first round on Friday night in Ithaca, New York.
“It is exciting,” Haverford head coach Bobbi Morgan tells KYW Newsradio. “For the whole Haverford community, to have a basketball team go to the NCAA (Tournament), it’s never happened. Mostly I’m concerned about my guys though, they are thrilled, and I’m excited for them.”
Getting to the NCAA Tournament is something that most basketball players can only dream about, but Morgan says her team won’t be just ‘happy to be there.’
“I want them to soak in every minute,” Morgan says. “We just talked about that right as practice was starting (on Tuesday). The weekend experience winning the conference was just one of the most memorable things that we’ve ever had, that I’ve ever had, and I want them to enjoy every single moment. But I also just told them that we can win. We look at it as a ‘tip-off’ tournament two weekends in a row and if we win we’re in the Final Four.”
The Fords are led by senior guard Nina Voith. The Germantown Friends product averages 14.5 points a game, and this season she became the all-time leading scorer in Haverford College women’s basketball history. That makes it a clean sweep for the Voith family, because her father, Dick Voith, is the all-time leading scorer on the men’s side.
“This season has been different than any of my past seasons,” Voith tells KYW Newsradio. “I think since the beginning of our season, our team sort of has clicked and come together. But I think we’re really good at being focused and just looking at each game, the next game, not really jumping ahead of ourselves or expecting anything. Just taking one game at a time, each being as important as the next. I think that’s how we’ve been so successful.”
As for the first-round match-up, Rhode Island College won the Little East Conference title and they bring a 20-8 record into the post-season.
“They are smaller than we are,” Morgan says. “But they are probably quicker and they are kind of more of a running team. I think that we’ll just have to offset that with a little bit of our height. And we’re pretty fast, too.”
The winner of this game gets the winner of Ithaca and The Sage Colleges in the second round on Saturday.
Haverford and Rhode Island College will tip-off at 6:00pm on Friday.
You can follow Matt on Twitter @mattleonkyw.