Feb. 16, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 33 University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will get a taste of mid-week action Wednesday when the Irish travel south to meet No. X Purdue at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Indiana.
WHAT: Match 8
WHO: No. 33 Notre Dame (4-3) vs. No. 51 Purdue (7-5)
WHEN: 3 p.m. ET February 17, 2016
WHERE: Schwartz Tennis Center (West Lafayette, Ind.)
The No. 51 Boilermakers enter Wednesday’s contest after splitting a doubleheader Sunday, defeating No. 43 DePaul 5-2 before falling to No. 37 Tulsa 4-0. Purdue has faced five ranked opponents this season, posting a 1-4 record in those contests.
Purdue boasts a solid middle of the singles lineup, with players at slots 3-5 owning records of 8-2 or better. Krisztina Kapitany is 9-2, while Natalia Davila and Claudia Escribens are each 8-2. The Boilermakers also claim a ranked doubles squad in No. 36 Kapitany and Tess Bernard-Feigenbaum, though the pair have not played since October’s Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. Kapitany and Deborah Suarez are 2-3 at the No. 1 slot for Purdue, Marta Ruedas-Burgos and Andjela Djokovic are 5-2 at the No. 2 spot and Escribens and Davila have posted a 7-2 mark at the No. 3 position.
Irish in the Series
Since becoming a Division I program in 1986, Notre Dame has met Purdue 29 times, boasting a 22-7 record against the Boilermakers. The teams last met in 2013, when No. 24 Purdue eked out a 4-3 win over the 19th-ranked Irish. Prior to that loss, Notre Dame had won five straight against Purdue.
The No. 33 Irish stayed put in last week’s Oracle/ITA Women’s Team Rankings, with an updated poll set to be released early Wednesday afternoon. With no individual polls set to be released for another week, senior Quinn Gleason and junior Monica Robinson will remain at No. 15 in the national doubles rankings, with a 4-2 dual record and 5-3 mark overall. Gleason sits at No. 44 in the singles rankings, boasting a 4-1 record atop the Irish singles lineup and a 10-3 mark overall.
Last Time Out
Notre Dame split a pair of matches last weekend, pulling out a 4-3 win over Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Pittsburgh in the conference opener Friday, but falling to No. 8 Michigan 5-2 on Sunday in Ann Arbor. After dropping the singles point to the Panthers, the Irish roared back to win four of six singles matches to get the win, including a comeback, three-set victory for junior Mary Closs on Court 4 to clinch the win. The Irish didn’t get on the board against Michigan until the match had already been decided, but got a solid win out of junior Monica Robinson, who defeated No. 14 Brienne Minor at No. 2 singles.
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 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.