Nov. 2, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will close out the fall tournament slate by splitting between opposite sides of the country, sending players to both Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Tempe, Arizona, this weekend.
The Irish will compete at the Bronco Super Challenge at Western Michigan and the ASU Thunderbird at Arizona State, each running Friday through Sunday. It will be the final individual tournaments for the Irish before play resumes with dual matches in January.
WHAT: Western Michigan Bronco Super Challenge
WHERE: West Hills Athletic Club | Kalamazoo, Mich.
WHEN: Nov. 3-5, 2017
WHAT: ASU Thunderbird
WHERE: Whiteman Tennis Center | Tempe, Ariz.
WHEN: Nov. 3-5, 2017
NOTES TO KNOW
- The Irish will compete for the first time since mid-October when six Notre Dame representatives participated at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships.
- Freshman Caroline Dunleavy was the best Irish finisher in singles, advancing to the quarterfinal to improve to 5-2 on the season.
- In doubles, two Irish teams – seniors Brooke Broda and Allison Miller, and sophomore Zoe Spence and freshman Cameron Corse – also advanced to the quarterfinal. Spence and Corse did so by defeating the nation’s No. 1 team in Michigan’s Alex Najarian and Kate Fahey in the first round.
- Junior Rachel Chong and freshman Cameron Corse lead Irish singles players with 5-1 records this fall, while freshman Ally Bojczuk sports a 4-1 mark.
- Notre Dame finished last season ranked No. 29 in the final Oracle/ITA team rankings, marking its highest finish since coming in at No. 19 following the 2013-14 campaign. The Irish, who went 18-10 on the season, ranked as high as No. 26 in 2017 and won 14 of their first 15 matches.
- The 2016-17 Irish featured five players who won at least 17 singles matches: Allison Miller (21-12), Zoe Spence (20-16), Monica Robinson (19-13), Brooke Broda (18-11) and Rachel Chong (17-8). All but Robinson return this season.
- Robinson became the program’s first winner of the National ITA-Arthur Ashe Sportsmanship and Leadership award winner following the 2016-17 season. The award is given annually to men’s and women’s players across all divisions who have exhibited outstanding sportsmanship and leadership as well as scholastic, extracurricular and tennis achievements.
Meet the Freshmen
The four Irish freshmen, who came in as the No. 8 class in the nation according to the Tennis Recruiting Network, did not need to wait long to see success in their Irish careers, with all seeing the court in Notre Dame’s first fall appearance at Northwestern’s Wildcat Invitational. Ally Bojczuk, Cameron Corse and Caroline Dunleavy all came in as blue chip prospects, while Evangeline Shannon is a three-star-rated talent.
In The Polls
The Oracle/ITA women’s tennis preseason rankings came out on Sept. 12, with both Notre Dame seniors appearing on the list. Brooke Brodawas featured in both singles and doubles polls, coming in at No. 123 in singles and joining classmate Allison Miller at No. 56 in doubles.
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs, in addition to overseeing production of the football Gameday Magazine. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.