“Friends, family, alumni, students,” she said. “We want you to believe.”
In her eighth season as head coach, Mitchell promised the crowd the upcoming women’s season will match the excitement of moving into a new arena. The women will begin playing home games at the Al McGuire Center shortly after the beginning of spring semester.
“We’re going to start the season on this court,” she said, “but on Jan. 4, we’re going to start a new era in women’s basketball at the Al McGuire Center.”
Mitchell reassured the crowd that the women’s team would not let them down.
“You will not be disappointed,” Mitchell said. “You will not be disappointed.”
After her speech, Mitchell handed the floor over to senior guard Katie O’Grady and senior forward Crystal Weaver, who hosted the four-spot shot contest, in which two Marquette players — sophomore guard Carolyn Kieger and senior guard Kelly Schwerman — were placed on teams of two with contestants from the crowd. Schwerman’s team won on a buzzer-beater.
The women will play two exhibition games at the U.S. Cellular Arena before starting the season: one will be on Nov. 9 against Wisconsin AAU, and the other will be on Nov. 13 against the Netherlands National Team.
The season opener will be on Nov. 22 at home against Drake. The first game in the Al McGuire Center is scheduled for Jan. 4 against Columbia.
Last season, the women finished with a record of 16-14, good for ninth place in Conference USA. They made it to the second round of the C-USA tournament, beating Memphis but losing to Charlotte. After failing to qualify for the NCAA tournament, the Golden Eagles entered the Women’s NIT, where they beat Toledo in the first round but lost to Iowa in the second.
After the season, the team lost senior Rachel Klug to graduation and sophomore Katie Alsdurf to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Klug left as Marquette’s best scorer, averaging 13.1 points per game and shooting 54.1 percent from the field. Alsdurf transferred to Minnesota, and took with her the team’s second highest average points per game, ranking right behind Klug with 11.9.