Iowa women's basketball team receives warm welcome from fans upon return to Iowa City

Raven Moore
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Hundreds of adoring fans welcomed the Iowa women's basketball team when the Hawkeyes returned home on Monday.

From infants to senior citizens, the Hawkeye faithful were out in full force at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville to show their support for the team.

The Hawkeyes returned to town after Sunday's national championship loss to LSU, but you'd have been hard-pressed to find anyone in the crowd who held the performance against them.

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Awaiting the team's arrival, fans broke out into several "I-O-W-A" and "Go Hawks!" chants while maintaining good spirits despite waiting 30 minutes longer than expected to see the squad.

When the buses began to make their way down to Iowa River Landing, a chorus of cheers again broke out and signs of support and admiration were again hanging high in the air.

Once the buses finally came to a stop to allow the players and coaches to get off, they were swarmed by fans.

Iowa center Monika Czinano high-fives fans at the Iowa River Landing on Monday as the Hawkeyes return home after playing in Sunday's national championship game in Dallas.

Head coach Lisa Bluder and several players, including superstar Caitlin Clark, were available for nearly 45 minutes to sign autographs, take pictures and have brief conversations with their supporters.

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark high-fives fans Monday at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville as the Hawkeyes return home after Sunday's national championship game.

One of the most popular players among the crowd was Kate Martin, who took time to pose for pictures and sign kids' posters.

Appreciative of the team's warm reception upon their return from Dallas, Martin said she can always count on Iowa fans to show their support.

"I would not have expected anything else," Martin said. "Hawkeyes fans always show up and show out. So it is really nice coming home to this and seeing our ol' Hawkeye faithful. We all feel really blessed right now."

Fans line 9th Street at the Iowa River Landing in Coralville on Monday as the Iowa women's basketball team returns home after playing in the NCAA Tournament final Sunday in Dallas.

The university is planning a formal end-of-the-season celebration for the women's basketball team on April 14 at 5:30 p.m. It will take place at the Pentacrest on the University of Iowa Campus. In addition to fans getting to see the team's trophies up close, Bluder, Clark, Monika Czinano and McKenna Warnock are all scheduled to speak.