Photo Story: Vandy beats Old Dominion

On Sunday Vanderbilt improved to 6-2 by defeating the Old Dominion Lady Monarchs 82-77. In this photo gallery, Whitney D shares some photos from the weekend.

In the daylight, fans sightseeing in nearby Virginia Beach might have thought they were seeing ghosts along the boardwalk by the Atlanic Ocean.

At night, the ghosts show their true character as part of the Holiday Lights on the Beach display.

Unfortunately, while fans might have enjoyed the holiday lights, the team didn't have the chance for any sightseeing on this trip. A cancelled flight and rescheduling meant that they didn't arrive in Norfolk until 1 o'clock a.m. on Sunday morning. With sleep, film to watch, a shootaround, a pregame meal and a 2 p.m. tipoff, then a flight home shortly after the game, there wasn't much time for anything else.

A quick look at the mascot shows that "Lady Monarchs" refers to royalty, not to butterflies.

Sophomore post Liz Sherwood scored 11 first half points off the bench in the first half on 5 of 7 shooting from the field.

With Vandy's posts in foul trouble, sophomore post Rachel Brockman stepped in, scoring 9 of her 13 points in the first half, as she shot 3 for 3 from the field and 3 for 3 from the free throw line. But nevertheless, Vanderbilt ended the first half trailing 49-39.

Early in the second half, Vanderbilt fell further behind, trailing by 16 points with 13 minutes left in the game. But the Commodores staged a furious comeback including this layup by junior post Carla Thomas to cut the ODU lead to 69-65 with seven minutes left.

Junior guard Caroline Williams led Vanderbilt with 20 points. She was fouled on this shot, then sank the free throws.

After Vandy cut the ODU lead to just two points with less than six minutes left, junior point guard Dee Davis was fouled hard and went sprawling on the court.

After shaking out the cobwebs, she stepped to the line and hit both free throws. A little later, she'd hit a 3-pointer to give Vanderbilt the lead at 77-76. In all, after crashing to the court, she scored 11 points and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line.

Vanderbilt Head Coach Melanie Balcomb checks the clock and the score in the final minutes of the game.

With Vanderbilt leading 78-77 and 28 seconds left, ODU Coach Wendy Larry called time out. The pep band played the ODU version of the "Hey Song", with fans yelling and signing "O", "D" and "U" instead of the usual "Hey".

After the timeout, ODU had to foul, and both Dee Davis and Carla Thomas sank their free throws to seal the victory for Vanderbilt.

At many schools, fans and cheerleaders join the pep band in singing the school's alma mater. At ODU, they take it a step further, with the team linking arms and joining in - even after a heart-breaking loss.

But for every team that's disappointed with a loss, there's another team enjoying a victory. On Sunday, that team was Vanderbilt.

As a newcomer, Rachel Brockman must help carry equipment for the managers and posed for a photo before loading the equipment onto the bus.

Senior guard Erica Grimaldi and freshman guard/forward Christina Wirth posed with a couple of Vandy fans who made the trip.

Since Norfolk is only about 50 miles away from junior guard Cherish Stringfield's home in Suffolk County, old friends were able to come to see her play.

Carla Thomas and her family were all smiles, too. Then less than 24 hours after leaving Nashville, the team was on their way back to campus.

Photos copyright 2005 by WhitneyD for Top Stories