April 7, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team welcomes a pair of Atlantic Coast Conference foes to campus in the penultimate weekend of the regular season when the Irish host Clemson and Georgia Tech on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
WHAT: Matches 20 & 21
WHO: No. 45 Notre Dame (10-9, 4-6 ACC) vs. No. 31 Clemson (8-6, 6-3 ACC) | No. 45 Notre Dame vs. No. 17 Georgia Tech (13-6, 8-2 ACC)
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET, April 8 | 11 a.m. ET, April 10
WHERE: Courtney Tennis Center or Eck Tennis Pavilion (Notre Dame, Ind.)
FOLLOW: | | WatchND Live Stream
The Tigers have put together a solid conference performance this season, despite owning just a 2-3 record outside of the ACC. Last time out, Clemson fell to Miami in a 7-0 route at home and comes into Friday’s match having lost two of its last three matches. The Tigers boast two ranked singles players who have had an impact this spring as No. 24 Joana Eidukonyte (6-8 dual) and No. 73 Ayan Broomfield (9-5) anchor the lineup, while Fernanda Navarro is 7-7 on the season. In doubles, Eidukonyte and Daniela Ruiz are 9-1 at the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Notre Dame is 8-3 all-time against Clemson, but have lost two straight matches to the Tigers.
Scouting Georgia Tech
After starting the season 5-5, the Yellow Jackets have won eight of their last nine matches to rise to the No. 17 spot in the national rankings, with their lone loss in that stretch coming in a 4-3 decision at No. 31 Virginia Tech last Friday. Georgia Tech largely has No. 32 Johnnise Renaud (12-5) and No. 37 Paige Hourigan (11-4) to thank for that, as well as three other players with at least 10 singles wins. In doubles, Hourigan and partner Kendal Woodard rank in at No. 13, boasting a 13-2 record at the No. 1 slot. Renaud and Rasheeda McAdoo are unranked, but similarly dominant with a 12-3 record playing all but one match at the No. 2 slot.
The Irish men’s and women’s tennis teams are scheduled to compete in simultaneous matches at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday at the Courtney Tennis Center. If current forecasts hold, those matches will move inside to the Eck Tennis Pavilion, with the women’s match taking priority. In that case, the Irish women will take on Clemson at the originally scheduled time, while the men’s match against North Carolina will take place at the conclusion of the women’s (approx. 7 p.m.).
The Irish fell one spots in the latest Oracle/ITA team poll to No. 45 after a win over Florida State and loss to Duke last weekend. In the latest singles poll (April 5), senior Quinn Gleason dropped in the rankings to No. 64 (previously No. 45), while, junior Monica Robinsondropped to No. 87 (previously No. 61). Gleason and Robinson come in at No. 40 in the latest national doubles poll.
Sophomore Brooke Broda is turning in a fantastic season thus far, posting an 14-1 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 20-2 record overall.
Last Time Out
The Irish held on to defeat No. 57 Florida State last Friday, as junior Jane Fennelly clinched the 4-3 victory in the last match on the court. On Sunday, Notre Dame traveled to No. 10 Duke, but fell to the Blue Devils, 4-1.
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 and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.