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Notre Dame women have high expectations again

Monday - 11/4/2013, 1:52pm  ET

FILE - In this March 26, 2013 file photo, Notre Dame guard Kayla McBride runs off the court after a second-round game against Iowa in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Iowa City, Iowa. Duke returns all five starters and its top seven scorers to build on its recent domination in the Atlantic Coast Conference. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame seniors have been to the Final Four three straight seasons, so they believe a fourth straight trip only seems natural.

Forward Natalie Achonwa and guard Kayla McBride, though, are aiming higher. After losing to the national champions the past three seasons, they are looking to end their careers with a national championship.

The Irish return four starters and enter the Atlantic Coast Conference with the goal of winning the league title immediately. They start the season ranked No. 6 and have been picked to finish second in the league.

With experienced reserves and two highly rated freshmen, the challenge for coach Muffet McGraw is to figure out how to put all the pieces together and fill the void left by the graduation of Skylar Diggins.

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