UConn seniors Stefanie Dolson and Bria Hartley stood side-by-side on the court at Bridgestone Arena Saturday. Just like they have in the starting lineup for the unbeaten Huskies throughout their entire career.
It was fitting that in their final Final Four appearance they were recognized as All-Americans. Dolson, Hartley and sophomore Breanna Stewart were named to the 10-player WBCA Coaches’ All-America team.
“Especially us being out there together I think for our senior year was pretty awesome as well,’’ Hartley said. “Along with Stewie, but I think looking at it, what me and Stef have been through and kind of have very similar stories. So I think it was exciting just being out there and just kind of enjoying the moment.’’
It is the seventh straight season that UConn has had at least one player on the WBCA team. It is the first time since Tina Charles, Renee Montgomery and Maya Moore were honored in 2009 that the Huskies have had three players named and it is the third time overall the Huskies have had three players on the team – Sue Bird, Swin Cash and Diana Taurasi was honored in 2002.
The Huskies have now had multiple players honored eight times.
“To be a WBCA All-American with Bria and Stef it shows a lot for our team,’’ Stewart said. “It shows how much we’ve worked this season and I think it was great for them to especially get this All-American honor just because they’re seniors and really send the out on a high note.’’
Dolson was also honored by the WBCA last season. Hartley was member of the team in 2012. They are the ninth and 10th UConn players that have been a member of the WBCA All-America team on multiple occasions. Svetlana Abrosimova (three), Charles (twice), Rebecca Lobo (twice), Montgomery (twice), Moore (four times), Jennifer Rizzotti (twice), Nykesha Sales (twice) and Taurasi (three times) are the others.
“Obviously, I’m just proud and just excited,’’ Dolson said. “I was really, really excited to find out and then to be able to do it senior year with Bria and then Stewie, three players on this team. To be able to get that accomplishment is just amazing feat. And we give a lot of credit to our teammates. I know, for me, I rely on the guards getting me the ball and rebounding and stuff.’’
Dolson is averaging 14.4 points and career-highs of 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 blocks and 32.1 minutes this season. She leads the Huskies in rebounding and minutes played.
Hartley is averaging career-highs of 14.1 points and 4.4 assists and is also averaging 3.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 31.8 minutes.
Stewart is averaging career-highs of 19.4 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 2.8 blocks, 1.6 steals and 30.1 minutes. She leads the Huskies in scoring and blocks.
“This program has so many great players that come through and some may not have been All-Americans and some are,’’ Hartley said. “But three people on this one team I think that’s pretty awesome and it just shows how talented our team is and how good these coaches are at developing great players.’’