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ND Women’s Basketball

Ivey talks prep ahead of No. 1 Louisville

| Friday, February 5, 2021

In lieu of the Irish heading to No. 1-ranked Louisville for their next game Sunday, women’s basketball head coach Niele Ivey held a press conference Wednesday. Ivey answered questions from the press regarding National Girls and Women in Sports day, game prep for Louisville, building the program back up and the new transfer from Stanford, graduate student Maya Dodson. 

The last game the Irish played was against the Syracuse Orange on Jan. 31, which resulted in a 69-81 Irish loss at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome. However, the Irish are still currently 6-5 in the ACC and 8-7 overall this season as they prepare to face off against the Cardinals (16-1, 9-1 ACC). 

Despite the challenge that the upcoming match poses, Ivey is confident in her team. Furthermore, despite the possibility of an Irish loss, Ivey believes the Irish will learn a lot as they begin to build their momentum back up. 

Courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics
Syracuse Orange guard Kiara Lewis (23) steals the ball from Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Sam Brunelle (33) in a game between Syracuse and Notre Dame on Jan. 31 at the Carrier Dome Syracuse N.Y.

“We have a huge challenge on Sunday — the underdog going into a great contest with a great program,” Ivey said. “I know it’s going to make us better, regardless of the outcome on Sunday, and it’s going to make us better as a program and me as a coach.”

In addition to discussing Louisville, Ivey also discussed the new addition of graduate student Maya Dodson, who will join the team starting next season after transferring from Stanford. Dodson signed her National Letter of Intent on Tuesday after she opted out of the 2020-21 season. 

“She is phenomenal in all aspects,” Ivey said of Dodson. “She is high character, highly motivated, highly driven. The hardest worker … the impact that she will have in this program will be huge.”

The addition of Dodson is set to help the Irish as they continue to build the team back up. In her three years with the Cardinal, Dodson navigated to spots in the programs all-time top-10 lists for both blocks (74) and career field goal percentage (.497).

“After the 2019 season, we lost the entire starting lineup,” Ivey said. “So last year was a complete rebuild. We had some players that didn’t play substantial minutes, that are now forced to be playing bigger roles, having bigger minutes and required to do a lot more offensively.”

Ivey also fielded a question from the press regarding National Girls and Women in Sports day, which was Feb. 3. 

“This is a dream come true for me to be in this leadership role,” Ivey said. “I know how impactful this is for young girls everywhere. For Black girls everywhere, I know representation matters. I’m just honored and blessed to be in this role. I’m hoping that I continue to inspire my players. I try to empower them as much as I can. Learning from one of the best, hall of fame coach Muffet McGraw, I know how impactful seeing a strong woman and a strong leader means in the lives of young girls, so I’m blessed.”

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