Under the guidance of new head coach Niele Ivey, who took on the role after the retirement of legendary head coach Muffet McGraw, the Notre Dame women’s basketball team has been hard at work.
Ivey played basketball for Notre Dame and was renowned for being a skilled point guard. After her career as a player, Ivey worked as an assistant coach under McGraw, and spent one season as an assistant coach for the Memphis Grizzlies before ultimately returning to her alma mater.
On top of assuming a new role, Ivey has also had to face the unique obstacles of leading a team during a pandemic. Nevertheless, in every game the coach and team members have shown dedication, persistence and perseverance. They finished the season 10-9 (8-7 ACC).
The team began the season with a close match against Ohio University (85-86) followed by a home victory against Miami Ohio (88-68). The next four home games were marked by both victory and defeat, as the Irish beat IUPUI (65-58) and Virginia Tech (84-78) while losing to Michigan (66-76) and Georgia Tech (67-82).
Right before the holidays, the team traveled to South Carolina to battle against Clemson. Although they ultimately lost (55-78), they secured their first away victory of the season in Florida against Miami (71-60) on New Year’s Eve.
After the start of the new year, they clinched a revenge victory against Georgia Tech (69-67) at home, yet faced another defeat in Massachusetts against Boston College (61-64).
The Irish then traveled back home to beat Wake Forest (79-72) and Boston College (83-73) before making the trip to Virginia to win another game against Virginia Tech (65-60). In the next three away games, however, they were defeated by North Carolina (73-78), Syracuse (69-81) and the highly-ranked Louisville (65-71).
The Irish downed Pittsburgh and Florida State before falling to Louisville again in the rematch with the Cardinals. Notre Dame enters the ACC tournament as the No. 6 seed and is still in the running to clinch an NCAA tournament berth with a strong performance in Greensboro.