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Sept. 17, 1997

Wildcat Women's Basketball Announces Schedule

PHILADELPHIA, Penn. - Villanova University head women's basketball coach Harry Perretta today announced a 26-game 1997-98 schedule. In addition to playing an 18-game Big East schedule and a four-game Philadelphia Big 5 slate, the Wildcats will participate in two in-season tournaments.

Included on the schedule are four NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, including Big East members Connecticut and Notre Dame along with St. Joseph's and Vanderbilt. Notre Dame advanced to the Final Four last season, while Connecticut made it to the Final Eight, Vanderbilt was a Sweet 16 member and St. Joseph's was eliminated in the NCAA second round.

At Thanksgiving, the Wildcats will travel to the west coast to participate in the St. Mary's (CA) Tournament along with Virginia Tech, Alabama Birmingham and host St. Mary's. Following the Christmas holiday, Villanova will play in the Vanderbilt Tournament along with SW Texas State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the host Commodores.

The Big East slate gets underway in early December with a game at Connecticut. Villanova will also play Big East rivals Pittsburgh and Georgetown during the month of December. As has been the case the past couple of years, Perretta is expecting fierce competition throughout the Big East.

"Over the past few years the Big East has really become a very competitive conference. I am expecting the league to be very competitive again this season," said Perretta. "We will need to be ready to play right away because we have to play three conference games before the first of the year. I am hoping the St. Mary's Tournament prepares us for league play."

The 13-team Big East Tournament will be held from February 28 thorough March 2 at the Brown Athletic Center on the campus of Rutgers University.