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Batteast named a presason All-American in ’04-’05

Joe Hettler | Thursday, September 23, 2004

The expectations continue for the women’s basketball team, and it’s still the middle of football season.The Irish are ranked in the top 15 in three national basketball magazines, and senior forward Jacqueline Batteast has been named a preseason All-American by Lindy’s College Basketball Annual. SLAM, Lindy’s and Athlon Sports have Irish coach Muffet McGraw’s 2004-05 squad ranked at No. 10, 14 and 15, respectively.McGraw is in her 18th season at the helm and has compiled a 384-149 record with the Irish, including a national title in 2001. She has taken her teams to six Sweet 16’s in the last eight seasons and has won 20 games for 11 straight seasons. McGraw returns four starters from last season’s Sweet 16 squad, including Batteast. As a junior, the South Bend native averaged 16 points and 8.6 rebounds. Batteast is 11th on Notre Dame’s all-time scoring list and was a Naismith finalist last season and a first-team Big East honoree.Along with Batteast, the Irish return the Big East’s Most Improved Player in Megan Duffy. The junior guard played a crucial role in running Notre Dame’s offense last season and averaged 9.9 points.Forwards Courtney LaVere and Teresa Borton also return for Notre Dame and will hope to give the Irish solid play in the paint. The duo averaged 10.5 and 5.8 points per game, respectively.McGraw will likely lean on sophomores Crystal Erwin, Breona Gray and Susie Powers more this season after all three saw some playing time during the 2003-04 season.Freshmen Charel Allen, Melissa D’Amico, Tulyah Gaines and Amanda Tsipis also join this season’s team.Notre Dame finished with a 21-11 record a year ago, after being ousted by No. 1 seed Penn State in the NCAA Tournament.