November 2019

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Page 162 of 166

163 T he background on University of Iowa senior Kathleen Doyle's laptop is an image taken March 10, 2019, moments aer Doyle and the Hawkeyes knocked off Maryland, 90-76, to win a Big Ten Conference Tournament championship in women's basketball. You have to scan the image closely to find Doyle. She is about as far in the background as you can get without falling off the makeshi stage set up for the postgame championship celebration. At the center of the image is center extraordinaire Megan Gustafson, receiving the championship trophy from head coach Lisa Bluder. In the le corner of the photograph is Doyle, wearing a big smile, liing her championship hat toward the ceiling to catch celebratory confetti that was raining down on the winners. "It reminds you what you're capable of and what you have to look forward to if you keep working," Doyle said. "at was a moment of pure bliss." Doyle's days in the background of anything associated with Iowa's basketball team have passed. Gustafson, the consensus All-American and National Player of the Year, has graduated. So have starters Tania Davis and Hannah Stewart. at leaves Doyle, who was named first-team All- Big Ten by coaches and second team by media, as a team leader, joining fellow seniors Makenzie Meyer and Amanda Ollinger. "e outside is going to worry about Megan, Hannah, and Tania being gone more than we're going to worry about that," said Doyle, a native of LaGrange Park, Illinois. "We can't worry about what we lost, we have to worry about what we can control and what we have in our locker room right now. We're a united group, our team chemistry is great. It will be different, but it's exciting to do something different. Change is always hard and I'm sure there will be road bumps, but we're going to embrace it." Last season, when Iowa made a run to the Elite Eight, Doyle led the Hawkeyes with 5.9 assists and 2.3 steals per game. She also averaged 12 points and three rebounds while shooting 31 percent from 3-point range and 74 percent from the line. Doyle netted double figure points 20 times in 29 games, scoring a season-high 22 against Iowa State and Michigan. She handed out five-or-more assists 21 times. at combination of sharing the ball and being able to create her own scoring opportunities fits the Iowa basketball philosophy. ose are two ways Doyle leads the Hawkeyes, another is her rah-rah, rally the troops personality. "ere is no arguing that Kathleen is our emotional leader," Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder said. "She brings enthusiasm, joy, and passion for playing hard all the time and that's contagious. When you have someone on your team that plays that hard and with that much emotion, it is fun to watch and it's fun to be part of that." In three seasons, Doyle has been involved in 73 Hawkeye victories. One of her career highlights occurred when she was wearing red, white, and blue, not the typical black and gold. From Aug. 6-10, Doyle was a member of Team USA that went 4-1 and won a silver medal at the Pan-American Games in Lima, Peru. Doyle averaged 20.6 minutes and 6.0 points; she shared the team lead with eight steals. "It was an amazing experience playing against international teams," Doyle said. "It is kind of amazing that a bunch of college kids could come together in that short amount of time and do what we did." Bluder appreciates what Doyle accomplished on an international stage. She coached Team USA to silver in 2015 in Toronto, Canada.

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