Ang in Nashville: Elvis picks Irish & Reimer ready for big stage


Sunday will be all business for the Irish women's basketball team as they face Maryland in the Final Four, but Friday night was about a little fun as the Irish took part in the Women's Final Four Salute in Nashville.

Luck hasn't been on the Irish side this week with the injury to Natalie Achonwa but perhaps a good omen--there is a "Legends" Restaurant right outside Bridgestone Arena--just like back at Notre Dame.

And speaking of legends--Angelo Di Carlo bumped into Elvis who said his pick for the Final Four was "The Fighting Irish."

Meanwhile, freshman Taya Reimer is moving onto the big stage this weekend-- filling the starting spot from the injured Natalie Achonwa.

"We're using her as our motivation," Reimer said of Achonwa who is out with a torn ACL. "Obviously she's gotten us to this point and we're going to try and finish this off for her. Just playing hard and doing a little bit more. Everyone has to do a little bit more."

Achonwa remains the Irish leader and her message to to Taya this week was pretty simple.

"Do what we all know you can do," Achonwa said of what she told Reimer. "I know she would get buckets on me in practice and she can defend and she's athletic. She came to Notre Dame for a reason and I think it was just reminding her that. Nothing new. She doesn't have to do anything new--just be Taya Reimer."

Because the one thing the Irish do not want Taya to try and do--is be Natalie and Muffet has a history with that speech.

"I think the same way we convinced Lindsay to be Lindsay and to not be Skylar," McGraw said. [Taya's] gotta come in and play her game--we're looking at defense and rebounding-- that's the key points for her and if we can do that--we can find the scoring somewhere else."

Reimer says she sat down with Coach McGraw and assistant coach Carol Owens about what they need from her.

"They said I'm more than capable of filling that role and doing everything that we need and just make sure I'm focused on rebounding and defense and not try and do too much," Reimer explained.

Reimer will be making the 5th start of her career on Sunday and she knows how big it is---being the Final Four.

"This is something I've been looking forward to my entire life so I'm really excited for the opportunity and our goals are still the same--we still want to win a national championship and that's what we are going to try and do," Reimer said.

Notre Dame and Maryland will tipoff at 6:30 Sunday night with UConn and Stanford battling in the other National Semifinal.


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