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Gonzaga Basketball

Gonzaga women to play UNC in Seattle

Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said he's excited to be matched up against North Carolina (Photo: SWX) Gonzaga coach Kelly Graves said he's excited to be matched up against North Carolina (Photo: SWX)
  • Gonzaga BasketballGonzaga women to play UNC in SeattleMore>>

  • Gonzaga Basketball

    Zags, Graves chart new course for WCC women

    Zags, Graves chart new course for WCC women

    Gonzaga women’s Head Coach Kelly Graves watches the selection show Monday, March 15, 2010, the Zags learn they’ll play North Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Championship Tournament. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review )Gonzaga women’s Head Coach Kelly Graves watches the selection show Monday, March 15, 2010, the Zags learn they’ll play North Carolina in the opening round of the NCAA Championship Tournament. (Christopher Anderson / The Spokesman-Review )
    Kelly Graves was adding some broad strokes to the big picture of Gonzaga's third appearance in the NCAA women's basketball tournament when the coach was reminded of an important detail...More >>
    Kelly Graves was adding some broad strokes to the big picture of Gonzaga's third appearance in the NCAA women's basketball tournament when the coach was reminded of an important detail by one of the department's detail guys. "White jerseys," said Chris Standiford, the senior associate athletic director. "You'll be wearing white."More >>
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The women of Gonzaga are headed to Seattle.  They learned on Monday they'd head west to play the North Carolina Tarheels in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament. The Zags are a seven seed.  The Tarheels are a No. 10.

"North Carolina is a great program and we're just happy to be in the field," said head coach Kelly Graves on SWX-TV just moments after hearing the news. "And we're just gonna do our best and be ready to play.  That's all we can do."

Graves was obviously excited to hear the news.  His team went to the tournament last year as a No. 12 seed.  Now, playing in the postseason for just the third time ever, the Bulldogs are a No. 7 seed, proving "The UConn of the West Coast Conference" is getting some respect outside the conference.

"Honestly, I think it's something we deserve," said Senior Vivian Frieson – that is, after she sent a text message to her mom. "And in our third year of ever making the tournament, I can't wait to play in Seattle and go home!"

Frieson grew up in the Seattle area and attended Garfield High School before coming to Spokane to play at Gonzaga. Her teammate, junior Courtney Vandersloot, from Kentwood, Wash., celebrated right along with her on Monday.

"We just have more confidence going into it [this year]," said Vandersloot. "We have more confidence, more experience. We did this last year.  We know what it's like to win and we know what it's like to lose.  We know what it takes to come out on top."

The Zags will lean on that experience as they face a tough North Carolina team that ended regular season outside the AP Top 25.  And yes, they are a tough team to play, according to the Zags' coach Kelly Graves.

"I do know one thing.  They're long and athletic," said Graves. "They believe in great defense. Our offense will be tested."

If Gonzaga makes it past the first round, they'll likely run into a familiar face: Texas A&M, the No. 2 seed in the Sacramento region who is set up to play No. 15 Portland State.  Barring an upset, the Zags would meet up with the Aggies for the second time this season. Gonzaga lost to Texas A&M back on Dec. 20 in the Las Vegas Holiday Hoops Classic.

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