Oct. 12, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Fresh off a fifth consecutive NCAA Women’s Final Four appearance and fourth trip to the national championship game in five years, the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team held its annual Media Day activities on Monday afternoon inside Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center.
In addition to a tipoff press conference with head coach Muffet McGraw, the Fighting Irish players and staff were available for interviews with members of the media. The Notre Dame contingent then assembled for the official 2015-16 team photo, as well as a handful of group photos, courtesy of Mike Bennett from Lighthouse Imaging in Mishawaka, Indiana.
The Fighting Irish held their first official team practice last week in accordance with NCAA regulations (the team had been allowed limited practice time up to that point). Notre Dame currently is preparing for its lone 2015-16 exhibition game at 1 p.m. (ET) Nov. 7 against Wayne State University at Purcell Pavilion.
Notre Dame brings back four starters and 10 monogram recipients from its 2014-15 squad that posted a 36-3 record and swept the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles for the second consecutive year. The Fighting Irish also were ranked No. 2 in the final 2014-15 Associated Press and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA)/USA Today polls.
This season, Notre Dame will be paced by a pair of honorable mention All-Americans in junior guard/tri-captain Lindsay Allen (Mitchellville, Md./St. John’s College) and sophomore forward Brianna Turner (Pearland, Texas/Manvel), as well as 2015 USA Basketball Pan American Games silver medalist and junior forward/tri-captain Taya Reimer (Fishers, Ind./Hamilton Southeastern) and senior sharpshooting guard/tri-captain Michaela Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan).
The returning Notre Dame reserve unit also will be strong, led by sophomore forward Kathryn Westbeld (Kettering, Ohio/Kettering Fairmont) and fifth-year senior guard Madison Cable (Mt. Lebanon, Pa./Mt. Lebanon), who sank the game-winning shot for the Fighting Irish with 19 seconds left in their 66-65 win over South Carolina in the NCAA Women’s Final Four national semifinals back in April at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.
As a team, Notre Dame will return more than 70 percent of its scoring, along with 80 percent of its rebounding, assists, steals, blocked shots and made three-point field goals from a year ago.
This year, the Fighting Irish also introduce the nation’s No. 3-ranked incoming freshman class, a three-player group that features three McDonald’s High School All-America guards — McDonald’s High School All-America Game Most Valuable Player and 2015 Gatorade New Jersey Player of the Year Marina Mabrey (Belmar, N.J./Manasquan), four-time USA Basketball gold medalist and three-time Wisconsin Player of the Year Arike Ogunbowale (Milwaukee, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels), and 2015 MaxPreps National High School Player of the Year and the reigning Indiana Miss Basketball Ali Patberg (Columbus, Ind./Columbus North). In addition, Notre Dame regains the services of junior forward Kristina Nelson (Buford, Ga./Buford), who sat out the 2014-15 season while recovering from shoulder surgery.
Following a nearly 90-percent renewal rate among season ticket holders, a limited number of 2015-16 Notre Dame women’s basketball season ticket packages have been freed up and are now on sale by contacting Notre Dame’s Murnane Family Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356 or visiting the ticket windows inside Gate 9 (Rosenthal Atrium) at Purcell Pavilion. Tickets also can be ordered on-line 24 hours a day with a major credit card at UND.com/buytickets.
Remaining season ticket packages start as low as $65 per person for individuals and $55 per person for full-time Notre Dame faculty/staff, while “Fan Packs” of 4-8 tickets are as low as $220. Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross students are admitted free for all home games (while supplies last). These season ticket packages include exclusive opportunities such as priority access for additional tickets and entry to Club Naimoli, as well as tickets for any home games in the 2016 NCAA Championship (contact the ticket office for details).
Single-game tickets for the 2015-16 Notre Dame women’s basketball home schedule will go on sale Oct. 20 (season ticket holders) and Oct. 22 (general public). A limited number of tickets for each home game may become available during the week prior to, or the day of, that contest due to visiting team returns and other considerations.
For more information on the Notre Dame women’s basketball program, visit the main women’s basketball page on the University’s official athletics web site (UND.com/ndwbb), sign up to follow the Fighting Irish women’s basketball Twitter and Instagram pages, like the program on Facebook or register for the Irish ALERT text-messaging system through the “Fan Center” pulldown menu on the front page at UND.com.
— Chris Masters, Athletics Communications Associate Director