Sports Opinion: Women’s sports ignored despite success

Randy Speer, The Circuit
The women's basketball team took on conference rival Baker University in the Semfinals of the NAIA National Tournament, Monday, March 20th at the Silverstein Eye Center's Arena in Independence, Missouri. Photo by Ashley Chandler
The women’s basketball team’s run to the national tournament ended in the semifinals. Photo by Ashley Chandler.

Think back to 2007. Remember that Gatorade commercial featuring Michael Jordan and Mia Hamm squared off in any sport they could think of with “Anything You Can Do” playing in the background. It may be time for a remake, featuring the female athletes of Benedictine College.
The men’s teams have had their fair share of successes, namely football’s upset of No. 2 Baker, but 2015-2016 was headlined by the women’s teams.
Here’s the short list of what the female athletes achieved:
A national title in the 4×800 – the first in program history and third in school history; two semifinal appearances in the national tournament by the soccer and the basketball teams; three different conference titles across soccer, cross country and indoor track; one conference tournament championship in soccer.
That doesn’t include individual honors.
Eight All-America selections; three national tournament All-Tournament team selections; 12 All-Conference selections; one conference player of the year.
It’s time that they get the fan support they deserve. Too many times to count, women’s soccer and basketball games go unattended by students, only for them to show up minutes later for the men’s game.
In the women’s basketball national tournament appearance, by my count a total of seven students showed up for the first two games combined. Two students – sophomore men’s basketball player Payton Heinen and senior Alejandro Pacheco – witnessed the upset of No. 1 Our Lady of the Lakes. Granted they were early morning games during a school day, but for a school only an hour north of the host site, that’s deplorable.
Nationally, it’s no different. The United States Women’s National Team is suing for more competitive wages. The women’s college basketball tournament is an afterthought amongst March Madness despite the University of Connecticut winning four straight national titles.
Senior Jordan Kramer summed it best after the women’s basketball team win in the quarterfinals.
“We talk a lot about energy as a team, but the fan base definitely helps boost that energy.”
If the female athletes needed to earn the support of Raven Nation, this year did that and then some. We are all Ravens, and these ladies warrant a mob of red and black behind them. Put down the books or whatever inhibits you from attending and get in the stands. They deserve it.

Correction: In the print edition of this story, it was incorrectly noted that the fan attendance at the women’s game prior to men’s “Christmas Tradition” on December 12 was poor. The attendance was poor because there was no women’s game prior to the men’s game that day.