Head Coach Niele Ivey talks about getting her team back in the win column

SOUTH BEND, Ind – Injuries continue as the Irish enter ACC conference play.

The Irish had their nine-game win streak snapped in an 86-81 loss to Syracuse on New Year's Eve, but that doesn't take away from how impressive they are, despite the injuries.

Unfortunately, things only got tougher.

With Sonia Citron, Cassandra Prosper, Emma Risch, and Olivia Miles out of the rotation, with no timetable for return, the season schedule will be interesting. But add it to the list of adversities fourth year head coach Niele Ivey has overcome since taking the job in 2020.

After the loss to Syracuse and before facing 6-8 University of Pittsburgh on Thursday January 4th, Ivey said she's stressed to her players that everyone needs to "do more" to overcome games like the five-point loss to Syracuse on the road.

"Just challenging them to be able to do more is something that I did, and they understand it, they understand like they have to do a little bit more and it's a lot, it's a lot, but also this is the hand we've been dealt, and we've been successful. You know came in ACC 9 and 1 record so if we're capable, we have enough, there are no excuses. We just have to play better and play a better complete game and start better," Ivey said.

Much like last season, Notre Dame isn't just one of the best teams in the conference, but one of the best in the country.

Although Pittsburgh is on the schedule next, Ivey and her team can't ignore the conference home opener on Saturday against a tough 9-4 UNC Tar Heels team.

It’ll be the team's third ACC game of the season with a lot of expectations from the 16th ranked Irish.

"I think having the opportunity to play at home, it's always big for us, we have an incredible energy we love playing at home, you know, just came off of three home games in December. So, we'll be excited to be back here going against a powerhouse like UNC. So, the energy of South Bend that community, how they come out to support our team means a lot to us. And so, we're excited to open up Sunday, but really focus on tomorrow," Ivey added.

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