The Notre Dame women’s basketball team will try to continue their success in recent years as they head into the 2013-2014 season. And now we know who they will play.
The regular season women’s basketball schedule was released on Wednesday afternoon after being approved by Notre Dame’s Faculty Board on Athletics. The release also accompanied the announcement of the ACC regular season schedule.
The Fighting Irish will play a 29-game regular season and will face 14 teams who qualified in last season's NCAA tournament.
“Our schedule is an extremely challenging one and it’s set up in such a way that is going to prepare us for the conference season and then the postseason,” Notre Dame’s Hall of Fame head coach Muffet McGraw said. “Between the various styles of play and some unfamiliar environments, especially in a brand-new conference, and not to mention experiencing some quick turnarounds, we’re going to be tested both physically and mentally, and that should be very beneficial to us at the season moves on.”
The team itself is coming off three consecutive Final Four appearances and returns four starters from last year’s 35-2 squad.
Because of this, Notre Dame will find itself in the spotlight with a minimum of 18 television appearances including four on ESPN.
“It never gets old to play on TV and it’s especially big that we’re among the elite programs when it comes to the number of games we have televised each year,” senior All-America guard Kayla McBride said. “Anyone who says they don’t get excited or have the adrenaline flowing even more when they’re on TV is lying. As a competitor, you want to play on the biggest stages and under the brightest lights. That’s one of the reasons I came to Notre Dame and its part of why we’ve been able to have so much success as a team for such a long period of time.”
And the stage doesn’t get much bigger than the hardwood at Purcell Pavilion – at least over the past decade.
Notre Dame has seen the average attendance at women’s basketball games increase by more than 35 percent over the past eight seasons. They have been in the national top five for attendance in the last three seasons. Last year, the Fighting Irish saw a school-record of 8,979 fans per game and also set a school record with 11 sellouts.
“Our fans are the best in the country and we want to do all we can to give them the best basketball at Purcell Pavilion,” McGraw said. “This year, we have several strong teams coming to town, plus some familiar faces like DePaul and Valparaiso, and a couple of new visitors both inside and outside the conference such as South Dakota State and Georgia Tech. There’s something for everyone to enjoy on our home schedule this year.”
Season ticket packages go on sale Sept. 12, and single-game tickets will be sold beginning in early October.
A copy of the full schedule can be found at the bottom of this article.