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Inside Irish: Duke & North Carolina

April 6, 2017

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The 29th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team play its final two home matches this weekend, welcoming a pair of highly ranked Atlantic Coast Conference foes to the Courtney Tennis Center for the final time in 2017.

Match 20
WHO: No. 29 Notre Dame (16-3, 7-2 ACC) vs. No. 15 Duke (13-3, 7-0 ACC)
WHERE: Courtney Tennis Center | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 4 p.m. ET Friday

Match 21
WHO: No. 29 Notre Dame vs. No. 4 North Carolina (20-2, 7-1 ACC)
WHERE: Courtney Tennis Center | Notre Dame, Ind.
WHEN: 11 a.m. ET Sunday

RESULTS: | | WatchND (if indoors)

On The Blue Devils

  • Duke comes to campus in the midst of a nine-match win streak, five of which have come against ranked opponents.
  • Duke boasts four players in this week’s Oracle/ITA singles rankings: No. 24 Meible Chi (12-3 dual record), No. 57 Chalena Scholl (12-1), No. 65 Samantha Harris (9-7) and No. 122 Kaitlin McCarthy (13-1).
  • In doubles, No. 35 Chi and McCarthy (8-3) pace the Blue Devils.
  • The Blue Devils own an 18-3-1 advantage in the series against the Irish.

On The Tar Heels

  • North Carolina has put together another stellar season, coming into the weekend with a 20-2 mark, with its only losses coming in the ITA National Indoor Team Championship final to Florida and last week to Georgia Tech. The Tar Heels will play Michigan in Chapel Hill on Thursday before traveling to face the Irish on Sunday.
  • The Tar Heels have five players ranked in singles, including four players in the top 50 nationally. No. 3 Hayley Carter leads the group with a 16-3 mark in duals, followed in the pools by No. 6 Sara Daavettila (13-3), No. 26 Jessie Aney (16-2), No. 46 Alexa Graham (18-2) and No. 100 Makenna Jones (12-3).
  • In doubles, Carter and Aney combine to make up the nation’s top-ranked doubles pair with a 9-0 dual record.
  • Notre Dame is 9-11 all-time against North Carolina.

Senior Sendoff

Sunday will mark the final home game of the season for the Irish, who will close out the year with three matches on the road. Prior to the match with the Tar Heels, the team’s three seniors – Monica Robinson, Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly – will be honored for their commitment to the program.

Last Time Out

The Irish hit the road and came home with a 4-3 victory over Virginia Tech last week. After winning the doubles points, the teams traded matches in singles before freshman Zoe Spence clinched the match for the Irish at 4-2 in a three-set victory at No. 4. It was the 15th win of the season for Spence.

Singles Standouts

The Irish are a collective 81-29 in dual singles matches this season, with five of six regular starters owning four losses or fewer. Freshman Zoe Spence and junior Allison Miller are both 15-4 on the year; senior Monica Robinson is 13-4; senior Mary Closs is 11-3 and sophomore Rachel Chong is 10-3 on the year. Junior Brooke Broda is 10-5 this season, including 10-4 at No. 2 singles.

Rankings Rundown

The Irish dropped two spots in the latest Oracle/ITA Division I Women’s Tennis Rankings last week, coming in at No. 29. Junior Monica Robinson also entered the rankings this week, coming in at No. 71 in singles.

A Weather Note

Each match is scheduled to be played outdoors at the Courtney Tennis Center. The matches will be played outdoors unless inclement weather prevents it. According to Intercollegiate Tennis Association rules: “Matches shall be played outdoors unless the projected weather forecast for a minimum of:

  • two hours out of a three-hour time period in Division I
  • two hours out of a four-hour time period for all other divisions

from the start of the match, according to is:

a. A high of less than 50°; or
b. Sustained winds (not including wind gusts) of more than 20 miles per hour.
c. If the outdoor conditions have changed by the end of the doubles play, it is understood that both coaches and the Referee may agree to move the match indoors. If play is suspended at any other point during the match due to weather, play must resume outdoors within one hour of the delay. If this is not possible, matches must be moved indoors.

As of Thursday morning, the forecast for Friday is a high of 72° with 20 mph, while Sunday calls for a high of 60° with a 90 percent chance of rain. Be sure to follow @NDWomensTennis on Twitter for the most updated information on the location of each match.

Keeping Up With The Irish

All indoor home matches will be streamed live on WatchND. Live scoring will be available for all home tennis matches at, with links for each match available on the women’s tennis schedule page. Live match updates will also be shared on the team’s Twitter account, @NDWomensTennis.

To keep up with all things Irish women’s tennis, be sure to follow @NDWomensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant 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 women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.