This post was written by contributing sports editor Sean Hurd
The women’s basketball team unveiled its 2013-14 schedule Friday, announcing games against nine teams who made it to the postseason last year.
Then-sophomore Chakecia Miller lunges to keep the ball in play against St. Bonaventure last February. Hatchet File Photo
It’s a tough start for the Colonials, who are gearing up to compete in the top of the Atlantic 10. Eight opponents were ranked in the top 100 last season, while five played in the NCAA tournament and four in the WNIT.
In one schedule highlight, GW will take on last year’s Pac-12 regular season champion, California-Berkeley, Nov. 15 at the Smith Center. The Golden Bears made it all the way to the Final Four last year, ending their season with a 32-4 record and a No. 6 national ranking.
Head coach Jonathan Tsipis said in a release that playing hard non-conference opponents will strengthen and prepare his team for A-10 play.
“One thing we looked at in trying to build this non-conference schedule was to have it prepare us for a very grueling A-10 conference schedule,” Tsipis said. “That includes playing three teams that made it to at least the Sweet 16, as well as playing some teams on the road to get us prepared.”
The Colonials will also square off against Georgia who made an appearance in the NCAA Elite Eight, and Maryland who advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. GW plays crosstown rival Georgetown Dec. 3.
The Colonials will have a slightly expanded conference schedule this season, playing 16 games instead of the 14 they played last winter.
GW, who finished last season with its most overall and conference wins since 2009, will begin conference play against Atlantic-10 newcomer, George Mason on Jan. 2 at the Smith Center, one of GW’s eight conference home games for the season.
GW’s road gets even more difficult from there, as the Colonials will then play against Saint Josephs, last season’s Atlantic-10 champions. The game will be played on the Hawks home floor on Jan. 5 in a game televised on NBC Sports Network.
The Colonials will look to continue their steady improvement from last season where they finished just above the middle of the pack with a 7-7 conference record, and won their first Atlantic 10 tournament match since 2008.
This year the Atlantic 10 Championship will be played at the Richmond Coliseum from March 5 to 9, after the conference entered into a three-year partnership with the city.
GW will begin play with an exhibition game against Young Harris College on Nov. 3 on the Smith Center floor. You can find the complete schedule here.
This post was updated on Sept. 27, 2013 to reflect the following:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that all nine games against last year’s postseason teams were non-conference opponents. Those games include both conference and non-conference teams. We regret the error.