December 3, 1977 - First Women's Basketball game

The Notre Dame Women's Basketball team would play its first game as a Varsity team today against Valparaiso. This was a long process in the making leading up to this first game. Following the coeducation of Notre Dame in 1972, the following steps needed to be taken for a new team to be established:

  1. Students needed to organize without any help.
  2. The team must register and compete as an Interest Group for one year.
  3. The following year, the University may promote the team to Club Status and provide the team with $750.
  4. After competing and performing well as a Club Team for at minimum three to five years, the team may be granted Varsity Status.

The basketball team began this process as soon as possible beginning was an interhall team in 1973. An early game against St. Mary's proved victorious for the Notre Dame team. After being a Club Team from Fall 1974 to Sping 1977, women's basketball became the third women's sports team to be granted Varsity Status at Notre Dame (tennis and fencing would be the first two).

Many of the members on the 1977 team had played on the club team for several years as the team was mostly juniors and seniors. Sharon Petro was brought in as the first varisty coach for the team. Together, as a varsity team Notre Dame would defeat Valparaiso 48-41. The team would finish the season with a 13-4 record winning both games in the District Tournament but losing both games in the State Tournament.

The women's team has secured many seasons of success since their beginnings. Most notably winning the 2001 National Championship during a 51-game home winning streak. This past season the women's team was the National Runner-Up and currently is 7-1 and ranked #3 in the country.

Keywords: womens basketball, valporaiso, sharon petro, st marys, coeducation

Posted On: 2011-12-03 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


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