MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Lady Canes are not only in the NCAA Tournament, but as the fourth seed, they’ve earned home court advantage in the first round for the first time since 1993.
“Nationally, it’s quite a statement. It’s quite a statement. They said, ‘Hey, Miami, you know what? You’re one of the top 16 programs in the country and you’ve earned this.’”
Head coach Katie Meier isn’t just happy to be in the tournament. She raising the bar and has her sights set on the Sweet 16 and beyond.
“Every time I’m in recruiting, everything I talk about – Miami is a high pressure place. I mean it is. Every coach I’m in a head coaching meeting (with) has a national championship ring and I don’t have one. We’ve got to get it done. So we want the pressure. Don’t come to Miami if you don’t want the pressure. That’s who we are,” she said.
The pressure starts Saturday afternoon when Miami takes on Florida Gulf Coast. They’ll lean on the senior leadership of Adrienne Motley, Jessica Thomas and Keyona Hayes – the team’s three leading scorers.
“Yeah, I think the younger players are really looking to them. The seniors and I have been through so many big games together. So we’re in our same mode,” Meier said. “But I do think the younger players are looking up to them and hoping that they lead us a little bit.”
Meier knows her squad isn’t fighting for just wins. They’re also fighting for column inches in the sports section. She’s hoping a deep run will shine a light on one of Miami’s emerging programs.
“I think we may have had the higher expectations. We put them on ourselves. Gosh, all the coaches in this community – all those teams – have just been overachieving and it does motivate you,” she said. “You know you don’t want to be in the sports page and be the only bad story. You know you want to be the great story too so it keeps us motivated.”