Top 20 Teams In Tennessee, UCLA, and Clemson Highlight Lady Monarchs 1999-2000 Cage Schedule
By ODU Athletics
NORFOLK (September 13) -- The Old Dominion University women's basketball schedule for the 1999-2000 season will feature the nation's best teams, as Athletic Director Jim Jarrett announced today that the Lady Monarchs will take on five top-25 programs as rated by the final ASSOCIATED PRESS poll of the 1998-99 season.
Last season, the Lady Monarchs advanced to the Sweet 16 for the fourth straight season. Compiling a 28-4 overall record and number two seed in the NCAA East Region, Old Dominion was ranked fifth in the final ASSOCIATED PRESS poll and tenth in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. The Lady Monarchs will host #20 Virginia as well as Denver, Vermont, and Big East member St. John's in the Fieldhouse this season.
"We have put together another of the nation's strongest non-conference schedules with the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in Hartford, Connecticut, a tournament at Syracuse, games at Rutgers, Tennessee, and UCLA, and home contests against ACC power Virginia and Big East member St. John's," said Jarrett. "As we move closer to the opening of the Constant Center, the continued success of our program should encourage all fans to purchase their season tickets to receive priority seating."
The Lady Monarchs will jump right into top-notch competition with November's schedule. In the season-opener, Old Dominion will host cross-town rival Hampton on November 19 before traveling north for the inaugural Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament in Storrs, Connecticut over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Lady Monarchs' first-round match-up will be against #10 Clemson. Kentucky and #4 Connecticut will meet in the second November 24th first-round game with the winners meeting on November 26.
On December 10, Old Dominion will also renew its in-state rivalry with Virginia. The last regular-season contest between the schools saw Old Dominion top Virginia, 80-51, in the Richmond Times-Dispatch Women's Basketball Classic at the Richmond Coliseum.
The Lady Monarchs will participate in the Carrier Classic in Syracuse, New York. Old Dominion will face Memphis in the first round on December 3 and meet either the host school Syracuse or Northern Iowa on the next day.
Finally, the Lady Monarchs will round out their non-conference schedule with a grueling road schedule that includes three big match-ups -- a Dec. 29 contest at #15 UCLA, a Jan. 3 match-up against #2 Tennessee, and a Feb. 1 contest at #9 Rutgers.
"Based on our commitment to play one of the top schedules in the country, we have challenged ourselves with an extremely competitive schedule," said Lady Monarch Head Coach Wendy Larry. "We will be challenged with a strong road schedule as well as a tough slate of opponents coming into the Fieldhouse."
Old Dominion returns three starters from last year's team that won its eighth straight Colonial Athletic Association crown. Heading the returnees will be CAA co-Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year Lucienne Berthieu as well as CAA Tournament MVP Natalie Diaz. Versatile swing player Hamchetou Maiga and perimeter threat Sharron Francis, along with a strong recruiting class featuring three solid players will give the Lady Monarchs depth to take on such a schedule.
The schedule will also include 16 CAA games culminating with the CAA Tournament at Virginia Commonwealth's Siegel Center on March 8-11, 2000.
Season tickets for the 1999-2000 women's basketball season are now available by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 683-4444. Fans may keep up with the Lady Monarchs and all Old Dominion athletic teams on the world wide web at www.odusports.com