Another Big Time Opponent for the Irish
Tonight, the Irish are on the national stage yet again. Although, for the women’s basketball team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish don’t see a top 25 matchup coming tonight. Instead, they face a struggling Tennessee Volunteer team that is not like the teams of Volunteer past.
To begin a bit of a preview here, I wanted to make sure we at least go back to some of the past games while also reminicisng about a turning point of last season.
Since the Irish put up a phenomenal home win against the Louisville Cardinals, they have seen some great success in 3 other ACC games. The Irish played Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Boston College. All three of those ended in convincing victories for the Fighting Irish.
Against Wake Forest, the Irish did not have a hangover game after playing Louisville. They dominated a seriously struggling Demon Deacon team that only put up 15 points in the first half.
Next, the Irish traveled to Blacksburg to take on the Hokies. The Irish actually trailed in this one at the end of the first quarter, but they picked up big time. With the help of Jessica Shepard’s 20 points inside the paint and also Arike with a typical 19-point game, the Irish took control of the game the rest of the way to win comfortably 80-51. A sidebar storyline with this game was that Marina Mabrey played against her sister, Dara. Marina overall had the upperhand, even swatting a shot away from her sister. There was much love between the two, but the Hokies were just clearly no match for the Irish.
Then, last Sunday, the Irish came back home to take on Boston College in another game that wasn’t really ever close. The Irish just have a way of completely shutting down lesser competition. Arike had 24 points, and Marina Mabrey helped with some good outside shooting as well for 14 points. Jackie Young also was stellar as always with 19 points. The Irish won another game by 29 points, 92-63.
The Matchup vs. Tennessee
Tonight at 7 PM, the Irish travel to Knoxville to take on the Volunteers. The Volunteers, though, are uncharacteristically unranked this season. They are currently 1-5 in SEC play and are on a very down year. It is definitely something that is strange for a program that saw so much success even after Pat Summit retired.
However, the Irish probably don’t plan to take the Volunteers lightly. Remember last year, the Irish were down by 23 points and stormed back to win against a #6 Tennessee team. It electrified the season. There was a time when the Irish were down by a lot with all of the injuries that the season looked lost. This comeback solidifed the Irish as a championship contender, and they definitely delivered that success. So, with how the Irish came back last year, I’m sure they will take the same steps to succeed and not overlook the Volunteers.
Check back at a time after the game, and I will recap the game for you all. If you want to watch it and hopefully see some more dominance from Muffett and her team, tune into ESPN at 7 PM tonight. Go Irish.