NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- The Monroe Mustangs women's basketball team from New Rochelle made it to its 10th consecutive national tournament. The team members are two-time defending champions in the NJCAA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship.
"They have been the most successful athletic team at Monroe College and success has continued," said Bert Shillingford, the athletic director at Monroe. "Right now we've been to nationals 10 years in a row, which is a major accomplishment. Very few teams around the country can say they've done this."
This year, Monroe is the No. 9 seed, and their first-round game is against No. 8 Iowa Central CC on Tuesday at 4 p.m. If they win, they'll play the winner of the No. 1 Mesa/No. 16 North Platte game on Thursday at 7 p.m.
"With the group we have this year, we stand a very good chance of repeating our last two championship wins," Shillingford said.
This past Saturday's 76-69 semifinal win over Harcum in the District N-O tournament and 78-64 victory over CCRI in the District final sealed the Mustangs' fate and sent them to nationals. In the nine previous years - six in Division III and three in Division II - they have won four national titles and were finalists once and semifinalists twice.
"The entire school is behind the Lady Mustangs," Shillingford said. "Not only are the team and the people immediately involved with the team excited, but the whole community is backing us."
During the players' day off on Wednesday, they plan to visit the children of the South Side Mission to provide homework help and fun basketball instruction.