April 19, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will kick off action at the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship when the 11th-seeded Irish take on 14th-seeded Pittsburgh in the first round of play Wednesday.
WHAT: ACC Championship
WHO: 11-seed Notre Dame (12-12, 5-9 ACC) vs. 14-seed Pittsburgh (7-13, 1-13 ACC) (First Round)
WHEN: 10 a.m. ET, April 20, 2016
WHERE: Cary Tennis Park | Cary, N.C.
FOLLOW: ACC Championship Central
BRACKET: 2016 ACC Women’s Tennis Championship Bracket
Irish ACC Championship Overview
The Irish handed first-round foe Pittsburgh its first loss of the season on February 12 in a 4-3 victory at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Panthers went on to lose the next 12 of 16 matches, with their only conference win coming against Louisville (8-16, 0-13 ACC; 15th seed). The winner of Wednesday’s match between the Irish and Panthers will play sixth-seeded Clemson (10-9, 8-6 ACC) at 10 a.m. ET Thursday.
The Irish are seeded 11th in the field of 15. The top four seeds earned a double-by into Friday’s quarterfinals, while the next five seeds earned a single by to Thursday. Both semifinal matchups will take place at 10 a.m. ET Saturday, with the higher-seeded match streaming live on ESPN3. Sunday’s 10 a.m. ET championship will also be streamed on ESPN3.
The Irish rose four spots in the latest Oracle/ITA team poll to No. 47 this week after wins over No. 30 Virginia Tech and Norfolk State last weekend. In the latest singles poll (April 12), senior Quinn Gleason rose two spots to No. 48 after beating No. 45 Francesca Fusinato of Virginia Tech on Friday, while, junior Monica Robinson fell two spots to No. 83. Sophomore Allison Miller comes in at No. 107 after entering the rankings at No. 108 a week ago. Gleason and Robinson come in at No. 38 in the latest national doubles poll.
Sophomore Brooke Broda is turning in a fantastic season thus far, posting an 19-1 record this season in dual matches. Indeed, Broda – who missed last season with a shoulder injury – has lost just two matches all season dating to fall tournament play, boasting a 25-2 record overall. Broda is in the midst of an eight-match winning streak, with her only loss of the spring season coming on March 24 at NC State.
Last Time Out
The Irish won two of their three matches over the weekend to close out the regular season. On Friday, No. 51 Notre Dame defeated No. 30 Virginia Tech 4-3 on Senior Day at the Courtney Tennis Center, with Brooke Broda clinching the win in a three-set victory on Court 5. The Irish then traveled to Virginia on Sunday, where they faced No. 13 Virginia and Norfolk State, and split the doubleheader. The Cavaliers upended the Irish in a 5-2 decision, while the Irish swept the Spartans 7-0 in the afternoon.
ITA Rules Changes
This season, the NCAA with the support of the ITA, will utilize a no-ad scoring format for the NCAA Division I men’s and women’s tennis championships. If a game reaches deuce, the next point will win the game. Additionally, eight-game pro-sets will no longer be utilized in doubles matches, with teams playing one set to six, with a tiebreak at six-all. At the individual doubles championships, matches will consist of the best-of-three sets, with a match tiebreak in lieu of a third set. The rules changes are designed to improve the pace of play in championship matches.
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 women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.