While the Gonzaga men begin the season at home in the friendly confines of the McCarthey Athletic Center, the women travel to California to escape the cold.
The Zags play UC Riverside Friday night, and they don't expect the opener to be easy.
"UC Riverside – they're a great squad, they're going to bring it; that's what coach told us," said junior Stephanie Golden. "We just got to be prepared and play our game."
"We're very excited to finally play a real game that's not exhibition, not against ourselves since we've been practicing for over a month now," said Taelor Karr, now a senior at Gonzaga. "We're chompin' at the bit to finally get there."
After UC Riverside, the Zags stay in California to play at USC on Sunday. They return home for a game on Friday against Wisconsin in The Kennel.