The future is definitely bright for Notre Dame Women’s Basketball, and on Thursday, they showed they can already hang with the best of the best.
The Notre Dame Women’s Basketball team went into their Thursday matchup with the Virginia Tech Hokies looking for the kind of win that can get their season trending in the right direction. New head coach Niele Ivey led her team into the matchup against the undefeated Hokies with a team that is finally getting healthy and led by a freshman standout who could challenge for the conference player of the year in her first season on campus.
When all was said and done, the Irish sent the Hokies to their first loss of the season, as three players scored in double figures, and Ivey got an impressive victory against one of the best teams in the conference.
Ivey notches first ACC victory
It was a special game for former Irish standout Niele Ivey, as she led her team to their first ACC win of the season, but also her first ACC win as the school’s head coach. The Irish were once again led by star freshman Maddy Westbeld, who is already one of the best players in the conference and seems to get better every week.
For Ivey, taking over for her mentor, Muffet McGraw, this is the kind of signature win the team needed, especially after some tough losses early on. She is trotting out a very young team, including Westbeld, and was still working back in star Sam Brunelle, who was an ACC player to watch this season as a sophomore.
Brunelle finished second to only Westbeld with 17 points, three behind Westbeld’s 23, and was lights out from the three-point line, going 5-of-9 in the game. The Irish shot over 50 percent from the field, and three in this one, outpacing the undefeated Hokies.
The Irish will next hit the floor on Sunday, as they travel to take on another ACC foe in the Clemson Tigers. Clemson is playing good basketball right now as well, but the Irish win on Thursday is the kind that can really build confidence, and hopefully springboard them to some wins now that they are in ACC play.
For Ivey, she notched what should be the first of many ACC victories at the helm of the Women’s Basketball program.