NOTRE DAME, Ind. (WNDU) - There will be new faces stepping up for the Notre Dame Women's Basketball team this season.
One of them is junior center Mikayla Vaughn.
Last year for the Irish, Vaughn played in every game but one, but saw limited minutes and averaged three points and three rebounds a game.
Knowing she'd have an increased role this season, Vaughn worked hard over the summer to improve her skills and leadership.
“I think it's really important for all of us to just to know that they've got another voice besides the coaches', to know that there's someone on the team that's going through the same things that they're going through and who is just as tired as they are but who believes in them just as much as I do,” Vaughn said. “Just to know that they can keep a cool head if they mess up. It's not that big of a deal. We can get it back on the next one. But to know that we have to make different mistakes not just the same ones we've been doing.”
She is already impressing head coach Muffet McGraw.
“Mikayla Vaughn is playing really well,” McGraw said. “I'm really happy with her. She's probably the one person out there that I'm like, you're doing exactly what we need you to do. She's led the team in rebounding, in field goal percentage. She's working extremely hard. In all of the scrimmages we've had, she's looked really, really good.”
“I've been working on just getting in really good shape and getting a lot quicker just knowing that I'm going to have a more involved role than I've had in the past,” Vaughn said. “So being stronger, being a great finisher, being a great rebounder, a great passer as well, something I've been really working on is my passing. Those have been the main things I've been working on.”
Vaughn and the Irish kick off the season on Nov. 5 at Fordham.