Apr 6, 2014, 12:10 AM EDT
Gary Paczesny is a member of the Notre Dame women’s basketball travel party that will be writing a daily blog about traveling to the Women’s Final Four in Nashville, Tenn.
Saturday in Nashville started early as the Fighting Irish enjoyed breakfast at the team hotel before departing for Bridgestone Arena for meetings with the media.
The team spent the first 30 minutes talking with members of the media, including many media outlets from both the Nashville and South Bend areas.
Following the media session, the Irish took to the court. It was the first time the team was able to get on the playing surface. The court, painted specifically to match the host city, had theming of music notes, guitar picks and guitars.
The public was invited to attend the one-hour practice, which saw the spirited crown cheer throughout, led by the cheerleaders and Band of the Fighting Irish.
Kayla McBride finished the one-hour session by hitting the traditional practice-ending half-court shot, much to the crowds excitement.
Practice concluded with the Irish Jig, something that the players enjoy, and fans of the women’s basketball team see each time before tip-off.
The entire team then made their way to the concourse level of Bridgestone Arena for a public autograph session. The session typical last 30 minutes, but with so many fans eager to get an autographed team picture, the Fighting Irish stayed an extra 20 minutes.
They players then returned to the arena floor, as Kayla McBride and Jewell Loyd where each presented as members of the WBCA Coaches All-American Team.
After a short afternoon break back at the hotel, the team boarded the bus heading back to Bridgestone Arena headed for Dressing Room H. What was happening in Dressing Room H you ask? Head Coach Muffet McGraw was presented the AP Coach of the Year Award.
Following the award presentation, the team returned to the hotel and enjoyed a dinner of chicken and steak fajitas with all of the fixings. Once nourished, the squad went over the game plan, watched film and went through final preparation before turning in for the night.
The Fighting Irish and the Maryland Terrapins tip-off at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN/WatchESPN. Listen locally on Pulse FM in South Bend or nationally on Westwood One/NCAA Radio Network.
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