NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Even though the CNU women's basketball season didn't end as they would have liked, it doesn't change the fact that Christopher Newport has etched itself at the top of Division-III athletics.
No one was more proud of the women's efforts in Dallas on Saturday playing in the national championship game, then local CNU alums. In fact, the alumni group planned a watch party at Tradition Brewing in Newport News to gather as one fan base to support the Captains together.
"You see all these people?" said Michelle Slabinski, a member of the CNU Peninsula chapter alumni board. "We're 19,000 CNU alumni on the peninsula alone so we are so excited to be able to be here and cheer them on. "We'd love to be down there in Texas with them but unfortunately we can't so this is the next best thing. But its great that we can all gather as CNU alumni and as Captains together."
The growth of the Christopher Newport athletics program, which currently holds three national titles in women's softball, soccer, and men's basketball, has developed over a long period of time. Former CNU cheerleader Nawana Waller cheered for the Captains back when they only had a men's basketball team, before a football was added. Waller has witnessed this growth first hand.
"I was able to watch it go from like a four building campus to what it is now and its absolutely amazing. It really holds a special place in my heart. To get this kind of group and this kind of atmosphere as a huge alumni group for a little college, it feels amazing."
The same group met just a few weeks prior for the men's national championship game where every member of the group signed a ball to be kept in the alumni center. They did the same gesture on Saturday for the women and now two basketballs signed by members of the alumni who gathered at each watch party to support the Captains will stored in CNU's alumni center for years to come.