ND winningest seniors say good-bye to fans - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

ND winningest seniors say good-bye to fans

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The Irish Women's Basketball Banquet was one last chance for Notre Dame's winningest senior class in school history to say goodbye to the fans that have cheered them on these past four years.

"It is sad, but it's also bittersweet because I know there's so much ahead, but I also don't want to leave such a great place behind," said 2013-14 team MVP Kayla McBride. "Notre Dame has done so much for me as a person, as a basketball player. It's something that I'll cherish for the rest of my life. But it's all said and done and I'll always be a part of the Notre Dame family."

McBride, Ariel Braker, and Natalie Achonwa all spoke of the special bond they shared with their teammates over the last four years. A four year span where Notre Dame never saw much disappointment.

"It meant a lot obviously," said Braker. "I mean we went to four straight Final Fours, not a lot of people can say that. I have a lot to be thankful for."

Each of the three seniors could not believe their time on campus go by so quickly. The trio came into South Bend with a winning mentality, which is why they were not surprised by their successes.

"No matter what the challenge was, no matter who we were playing, no matter what coach challenged us with, we were going to take it full steam, and do whatever we had to do to win," said Achonwa, the winner of the inaugural outstanding leadership award. "Knowing that coming in, nothing was going to stop this class."

Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw was very thankful for what the three seniors accomplished. She is hoping their work ethic they took into every practice will rub off on the underclassmen.

"Winning is really hard and you have to be ready every single day. You don't get a day off. You can't take a break during a drill. [Achonwa, McBride and Braker] were ready every single moment and that's why we were so successful," said McGraw.

Now it will be up to the Irish underclassmen like Jewell Loyd and Taya Reimer to continue on the path that these seniors have paved for them. The team is hoping make a fifth straight Final Four next season.
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