You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

UD fans celebrate men, women basketball teams


An estimated 2,000 fans streamed into the University of Dayton Arena on Sunday to celebrate the school’s men’s and women’s basketball season.

The celebration came less than 24 hours after the men’s team returned to campus following a defeat at the hands of the Florida Gators 62-52 in the NCAA tournament on Saturday where they had advanced to the Elite Eight.

The Flyers women’s team was defeated 83-69 by Florida on Marcy 23 during the NCAA opening round.

“I couldn’t imagine going through a season with a better group of kids,” Archie Miller, UD men’s head coach said told Sunday’s crowd. “They represented not only the university and our community well, but I think they represented the vision for our program set in stone almost four years ago.”

During his speech, in which he also thanked the fans, Miller acknowledged four senior players: Matt Kavanaugh, Devin Oliver, Vee Sanford and Brian Vonderhaar.

“All of them have come a long way,” Miller said. “All of them now will go down in history as one of best senior classes to ever play.”

Jim Jabir, the women’s head coach also thanked the fans.

“We have all you guys here to honor something that we love to do,” Jabir said. “I really believe that without your support … you are very very important to what we do. I’ve always said that it’s your team not our team.”

The men’s team moved into the Sweet 16, for the first time in 30 years, after defeating the Syracuse Orange 55-53 in Buffalo on March 22. The team advanced to the Elite Eight on Thursday after defeating the Stanford Cardinal 82-72 in an NCAA tournament regional semifinal in Memphis.

“It’s been a fantastic run,” said Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. “When you think about the last time this happened, it was 30 years ago. We certainly hope that we don’t wait 30 more years for them to get to the Elite Eight. I don’t think we will.”

Whaley, a UD alumnus, said she believes the Flyers will have another great season next year.

“The excitement in the community has been really fantastic from local businesses supporting the team to all sides of town routing for Dayton and the Flyers,” Whaley said. “I think we enjoy being America’s Cinderella city and team.”

Fans lined up more than 30 minutes early outside the arena on Sunday.

Brock Copas, 12, of Troy, who waited in line for celebration, praised the Flyers performance.

“I think they did really good to be able to get to the Elite Eight and play the number one team in the country,” Copas said.

Don LeVan, 41-year-old Troy resident, who attended the event with his son Ryan LeVan, 12, and Copas said they were huge Flyers fans.

“This team is really special,” LeVan said. “We’ve gotten to know the guys from camp. They’re real classy kids with good character. UD should be proud to have kids like this come to their school and play for their university.”

Cecil Dunaway, a 74-year-old Dayton resident and season ticket holder said the men’s team had a great season and surprised some people.

“It showed what kind of character they had,” Dunaway said. “I thought they played with their hearts. They never got down on themselves.”

Gloria Morano, UD alumni Dayton chapter president, traveled with a group of friends to Memphis to watch the tournament. She said there was a lot of Flyers enthusiasm and support from the crowd.

“When it got to be 28 seconds left, and we knew we weren’t going to be able to make up the deficit everybody started cheering, ‘We are UD,’” Morano said during an interview. “It was so much support and pride for the season that they’ve had and the way they handled themselves through this run to the Final Four … there was no disappointment among the crowd.”

The Flyers were greeted by a large crowd of fans when their bus arrived on campus early Sunday morning.

UD seniors Marissa Miroglotta, Hayleigh Raiff and Sarah Costa said they came out in the cold to thank the team for making their senior year special.

Around them dozens of fellow Flyers fans waved flags and signs, chanting praise for UD as the bus came to a halt and the players emerged.

“We’re really proud of everything they’ve done,” Miroglotta said.

Player Jalen Robinson said it was a “bitter” end to the year, but he was glad for the community support.

“I’m happy that we as a team could make the community happy,” he said.

The Breaking News Staff contributed to this report.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in News

One arrested, others sought for robbery in Springfield
One arrested, others sought for robbery in Springfield

One woman has been arrested and charged in connection with a robbery in Springfield. Brittney Nicole Allen, 30, was charged with complicity to aggravated robbery. She pleaded not guilty Thursday in Clark County Municipal Court and her bond was set at $10,000. According to an arrest warrant, Allen allegedly entered the Mug-N-Jug, 1213 Mitchell Blvd...
Historic SpaceX rocket launch could transform spaceflight 
Historic SpaceX rocket launch could transform spaceflight 

For the first time in history, billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX is poised to launch a recycled rocket back into Earth’s orbit — a milestone that could drastically cut the cost of traveling into space and pave the way for a new era in space travel. Musk’s private space company is scheduled to relaunch a Falcon 9 rocket...
Social media reacts to news of Anthony Grant’s hiring at UD
Social media reacts to news of Anthony Grant’s hiring at UD

Just before noon on March 30, the University of Dayton announced Anthony Grant will be the new men’s basketball coach.  UD will hold a press conference on Saturday at 1 p.m. to formally announce the university’s 19th basketball coach.   The Flyers community took to social media after the news broke to express their thoughts...
4-year-old has ‘date’ with police officer
4-year-old has ‘date’ with police officer

A Massachusetts police officer had what the police department is calling “the best dinner date ever.” >> Read more trending news  Sgt. Steven Dearth was grabbing a bite during his dinner break at a Panera Bread a few weeks ago when Lilly, 4, walked in with her parents and brother, ABC News reported.  She went up...
Young man loses bet, gets taped to traffic sign
Young man loses bet, gets taped to traffic sign

Drivers traveling in Houston on Wednesday called authorities after spotting a young man that was taped to a yield sign with his feet dangling more than a foot from the ground. The young man was identified by KHOU as Miguel Chavez. The news station reported Chavez lost a bet made on Tuesday’s basketball game between the Houston Rockets and the...
More Stories