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Looking Back on Women’s History Month: 8 of the Best Rivalries in Women’s College Sports

Looking Back on Women’s History Month: 8 of the Best Rivalries in Women’s College Sports Looking Back on Women’s History Month: 8 of the Best Rivalries in Women’s College Sports

Rivalries will forever be one of the best parts of sports. Fierce battles between familiar competitors always seem to draw the eyes and hearts of sports fans across the country and some of the biggest rivalries to ever grace the world of athletics come from women's college sports. To Because we should keep celebrating Women's History Month after March ends, here are nine of the best rivalries in the history of women's college sports:

#1: UConn and Tennessee – Basketball

Quite possibly one of the most star-studded rivalries of all time, the Huskies and Lady Volunteers rivalry has been one for the history books. It has included athletes like , and on the UConn side and Candace Parker and Tamika Catchings for Tennessee. It has also featured the legendary coaches for Tennessee and for UConn. The rivalry began in 1995, and UConn currently leads the series with 16 wins, while Tennessee only has nine.

Related: Rate the University of Connecticut 

#2: Nebraska and Stanford – Volleyball

Since their first meeting in 1976, Nebraska and Stanford have met 18 times, with Stanford holding a 12 to 6 series lead. Between 2015 and 2018, the two squads alternated with each other for the title of national champion. These squads have even met in the finals twice, with each team taking one championship victory over the other. 

#3: Alabama and Georgia – Gymnastics

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs have been going at it in the gym for decades and boast one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport. Combined, the schools have won 16 NCAA team titles, with Alabama accounting for six and Georgia for 10. One of the most notable aspects of this matchup was the school's former coaches, with Alabama coach Sarah Patterson and Georgia coach having so much success that ESPN even made a documentary about their impact on the sport. 

Related: Rate the University of Alabama

#4: Texas and Texas A&M – Soccer

Since 1993, the Longhorns and Aggies have faced off 28 times. A&M has taken a resounding 21 of those matches, including the first 14 meetings. Texas has won five times, and the teams have tied twice. The Aggies left the Big 12 in 2011, which meant the schools don't meet as frequently, but due to the geographic proximities of the schools, the rivalry remains alive and well. And Texas moving to the SEC in 2024 should enliven what will once again be an in-conference rivalry moving forward.

#5: UCLA and Arizona – Softball

The and Wildcats have been two of the most successful softball programs nationwide. They have played each other 141 times, with UCLA holding a 82-59 series lead. The two teams have met in the Women's Final on seven different occasions and combine for 20 national titles. UCLA holds 12 of these championships and Arizona holds eight, which make up the top two in championships won out of all of college softball. 

Related: Rate the University of California-Los Angeles, University of Arizona

#6: Penn State and Stanford – Volleyball

The Nittany Lions and the Stanford Cardinal have met a whopping four times in the national women's volleyball championship, with State winning three of the four matchups. All time, though, Stanford holds the advantage, with 14 wins compared to Penn State's 11. Stanford also holds the longest win streak in the series having won five consecutive matches between 2018 and 2021. 

#7: Notre Dame and Louisville – Basketball

The first meeting between the Fighting Irish and Cardinals came in 1991, and the two have met 28 times overall. Notre Dame leads the series 16-12, but Louisville has won the last six games between them. This rivalry underwent a resurgence in 2018 when Louisville coach and former Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw shared a tense handshake following the ACC Championship game. 

Related: Rate your Coaches, Facilities, and Campus Visits

#8: Alabama and Oklahoma – Softball

While these squads aren't in the same conference, their histories of success and meeting on the biggest stage have resulted in a rivalry being formed between them. The Sooners have been national champions six times and Alabama only once–however the teams have a combined 28 Women's College World Series appearances. The two teams have faced off 14 total times, including in the final championship series in 2016, where the Sooners won the deciding game three on a dramatic late inning home run. Alabama leads the all-time series 8-6.

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Image Credit: College Gym News/Alabama Athletics

* Originally published on April 6, 2023, by Owen Roche

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