New life breathed into women's City Game
College Football Videos
Duquesne women's basketball coach Dan Burt is used to hearing the questions about Sunday's game against Pitt.
So are his players.
They've been hearing them since before the season began.
The annual City Game was already an anticipated date on the calendar each year, and it has a new element as the first meeting between the crosstown rivals since Suzie McConnell-Serio left Duquesne to coach the Panthers last spring.
“I've been asked that question more than any question I've been asked,” Burt said. “It's a situation where our kids are certainly always ready to play Pitt because of the rivalry.
“I think the fact that Suzie chose to go to the school down the street just enhances it. But there's no ill will. We want the best for them, and we root for them when they're not playing Duquesne. But when we strap it up on (Sunday), it's going to be a very good game.”
McConnell-Serio coached Duquesne for the past six seasons and turned the program into a contender in the Atlantic 10.
The Dukes had at least 20 wins in each of the past five seasons and have advanced to the postseason WNIT the past five years.
But the opportunity to coach at Pitt and in the ACC was one that McConnell-Serio could not turn down. She replaced Agnus Berenato as Panthers coach April 12 and is charged with turning a program around again.
After finishing last season 9-21, Pitt is 7-6 going into Sunday's game.
McConnell-Serio said she doesn't expect it to be an emotional game.
“Only because I'm very happy where I am and have a great situation, and I just think that makes a big difference for me going into this game,” she said. “I'm excited about the future of our program and what we can build at Pitt.”
April Robinson, her former point guard at Duquesne, believes differently.
“It's going to be an emotional game,” said Robinson, a sophomore.
Olivia Bresnahan, who transferred from Florida State and made her Duquesne debut a week ago after sitting out the required year, agreed with Robinson.
“I think we're all just finally excited to get in the game and play this one because everyone's been asking us about the Pitt game,” she said. “They overlook our whole schedule and take it right to that one: ‘I bet you're excited to play that one.' Of course we're excited to play. It's going to be like our second Christmas present.”
Duquesne is 8-4 after a disappointing 88-80 loss to West Virginia before Christmas. They open the A-10 season Wednesday hosting St. Bonaventure. Pitt opens the ACC season hosting Florida State on Thursday.
Burt believes the interest in Sunday's game and the rivalry moving forward will be good for girls basketball in Western Pennsylvania.
“We have our local players and they'll get a couple in the future, but we're real excited because high school and middle school girls in the area can really benefit from seeing a really good, intense rivalry,” he said.
“I really think that will benefit girls basketball as a whole in the area.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at email@example.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- West Virginia county hears arguments on proposed smoking ban
- Steelers are in familiar territory going into training camp in Latrobe
- Truck crashes into Dairy Queen, five injured in Penn Hills
- Rossi: Johnston must reach Malkin in Moscow
- City, Jordan Miles continue fight over legal costs
- Beaver DA believes girls might have lived had dad responded faster
- MSA Safety posts drop in profit
- Friday’s scouting report: Pirates at Rockies
- Scientists: Earth in midst of 6th ‘mass extinction’
- Poverty programs would be merged
- Fishing report: Pymatuning walleye fishing remains tough