The Ferris State hoops squad will climb the divisional ladder to play 2013-14 NCAA National Champion runner-up Notre Dame in an exhibition match.
This level of competition is likely to test both the Bulldogs physical game, and mental spirit.
Having stepped up to endure a tough game against Michigan State’s squad last year, the Bulldogs have once again been tasked with playing a highly talented group to start their season.
“They were undefeated until the National Championship Game last year and they only lost three players this year, so it’s going to be a challenge. It is what it is,” Head Coach Colleen Lamoreaux-Tate said. “We pick up big games to start our seasons and it always just grounds us, and then we go from there. Notre Dame will let us know what we need to work on and what we’re good at.”
The Bulldogs typically end up with unfavorable results against top-notch opponents in their exhibition games. However, the start of their season is defined by the work put in and the finished product on the court when it really counts, rather than an ugly loss in the pre-season.
“Everyone on the team has been hitting the weights and working on speed and agility,” Lamoreaux-Tate said. “We time them in certain drills before the season and at the end of every season, and their times when they came back this year were cut way down from last season, which was just awesome.”
Last season, the Bulldogs finished their season winning four of five games down the stretch. This changing of the tides seemed to make the women of this team hungrier for success than ever heading into the offseason.
“When you win your last four out of five games in the season it really motivates a team and I think that carried into the summer. They were just so driven over the summer, and that’s what I’m most impressed with,” Lamoreaux-Tate said.
Heading into the season, the Bulldogs are looking to capitalize on their strong leadership and improved athleticism in order to become a more well-rounded team.
“We’ve got the leadership, we’ve got the shooters, we’ve got the guards and the posts, so what we’ve really been focusing on is defense for the last couple of weeks. We do have the firepower, but they’ve been relying a little bit too much on the offense and the ability to out score the other team, so now we’re really buckling down on stopping other teams defensively,” Lamoreaux-Tate said.