The storylines continue to mount as the Huskies pursue an NCAA record-tying eighth national championship. But one of the most compelling is the ability of junior Stefanie Dolson to play through pain.
Dolson, whose best friend lately has been team athletic trainer Rosemary Ragle, is coping with a stress fracture of a non-weight bearing bone in her right ankle and plantar fasciitis in her left foot. Still, she manages to produce, finishing with game-highs of 11 rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes in a win over Kentucky Monday in the Bridgeport regional final.
“I definitely felt better today than Saturday,’’ said Dolson. “Rosemary … We did a lot of treatments over the two day or last day and a half. I’ve just really been working at it to make it feel as good as it possibly can and I felt really good today.’’
Dolson is averaging 8.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 22.8 minutes the tournament.
“She had 11 (rebounds) tonight, 10 Saturday night (against Maryland),’’ UConn coach Geno Auriemma said. “She might have been the leading rebounder in the whole tournament. I don’t know. She probably had to be. But Stefanie’s grown up. She’s changed her mindset. What I most admired about her this tournament was that every time she was on the bench and I’m trying to give her a rest she kept looking at me like, `Why am I out?’ And for somebody who’s hurting that much who didn’t practice yesterday, who just walked through shootaround this morning. And I think that epitomizes the spirit that we have right now on this team. I don’t know if we’re going to win next Sunday. I have no idea And I don’t know if we’re going to get a chance to play next Tuesday. But I know that next Sunday I don’t think any coach is going to put a team on the floor that’s come through a lot of the things that we’ve come through and is more prepared to fight through things than we are.’’