March 31, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will split time between home and the road this weekend when they welcome Florida State to campus on Friday before traveling back to North Carolina to face Duke on Sunday.
WHAT: Matches 18 & 19
WHO: No. 44 Notre Dame (9-8, 3-5 ACC) vs. No. 57 Florida State (9-9, 1-7 ACC) | No. 44 Notre Dame @ No. 10 Duke (13-3, 6-2 ACC)
WHEN: 3:30 p.m. ET, April 1 | 11 a.m. ET, April 3
WHERE: Courtney Tennis Center or Eck Tennis Pavilion (Notre Dame, Ind.) | Ambler Tennis Center (Durham, N.C.)
FOLLOW: | Live Stream vs. Florida State | | Live Stream @ Duke ($$)
Scouting Florida State
After starting the season 7-2, the Seminoles have gone 2-7 over their last nine matches, and are just 1-7 against conference competition. Florida State is led by No. 55 Daneika Borthwick in singles, who is 8-6 in dual matches this season, while Gabriella Castaneda is 11-5 this spring. In doubles, Borthwick and Yukako Noi are 6-5 playing mostly at the No. 1 slot. The Irish are 2-1 all-time against the Seminoles.
The Blue Devils have impressed this season, with losses only to current No. 5 Vanderbilt, No. 31 Virginia Tech and No. 12 Virginia. Duke boasts four ranked singles players and two ranked doubles squads. Beatrice Capra leads the Blue Devils with a No. 28 ranking, but is 4-4 this spring. She’s supported by No. 35 Kaitlyn McCarthy (9-4), No. 78 Ellyse Hamlin (5-5) and No. 92 Chalena Scholl (12-2). Samantha Harris has also posted a strong 11-4 record. In doubles, Capra and Hamlin come in at No. 13 with a 5-5 dual record, while No. 60 Scholl and Jessica Ho are 2-0 this spring. More likely to see the lineup, though are Scholl and Alyssa Smith, who are 9-4, while Harris and McCarthy boast a healthy 8-2 mark in doubles. The Blue Devils will face Virginia on Friday before hosting the Irish on Sunday and hold a 17-3-1 all-time advantage in the series against the Irish.
The Irish men’s and women’s tennis teams are scheduled to take on Florida State 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 the Seminoles at the originally scheduled time, while the men’s match will take place at the conclusion of the women’s (approx. 6:30 p.m.).
The Irish fell two spots in the latest Oracle/ITA team poll to No. 44 after losses to NC State and North Carolina last weekend. In the latest singles poll (March 22), senior Quinn Gleason dropped one spot in the rankings to No. 45 despite defeating No. 50 Kimmy Guerin of Wake Forest the previous week. Additionally, junior Monica Robinsondropped to No. 61, having posted a 10-5 record at the No. 2 spot this season. Gleason and Robinson rose seven spots to No. 33 in the doubles polls.
Sophomore Brooke Broda is turning in a fantastic season thus far, posting an 12-1 record this season in dual matches. Indeed, Broda — who missed last season with a shoulder injury — has lost just one match all season dating to fall tournament play, boasting a 18-2 record overall.
Last Time Out
The Irish fell to then No. 43 NC State 4-3 last Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, and lost a 5-2 decision to No. 4 North Carolina on Saturday.
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.