March 12, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will return to Atlantic Coast conference action this weekend, welcoming No. 1 North Carolina at 1 p.m. EDT on Friday and Boston College at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday.
The Tar Heels (15-0, 3-0 ACC) are undefeated this season and took the No. 1 spot in early February after winning the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. All but one of their 15 dual-match wins have been by at least three points. Seven Tar Heels appear in the ITA national singles rankings, including No. 8 Jamie Loeb, No. 14 Hayley Carter and No. 16 Caroline Price in the top 20. Loeb and Price are also ranked 12th in the doubles poll, while Carter and Whitney Kay rank 18th.
The Eagles are 7-6 on the season (1-2 ACC), and have lost their last two against Duke and Miami heading into this weekend’s matches with Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. Against a common opponent, Boston College defeated Syracuse 4-1 on February 14. The Irish beat the Orange 5-2 on February 27. Two Eagles players appear on the ITA singles scrolls: No. 71 Jessica Wacnik and No. 118 Asiya Dair.
TOEING UP TO THE TAR HEELS: No. 28 Notre Dame welcomes Atlantic Coast Conference foe and top-ranked North Carolina to the Eck Tennis Pavilion at 1 p.m. EDT Friday. The Irish are 9-9 in the all-time series with the Tar Heels, and 0-1 since joining the ACC last season. UNC defeated Notre Dame 6-1 last year in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
AGAINST NO. 1: The Irish are 1-10 all-time against No. 1-ranked teams, with their only win coming in a 5-2 victory over top-ranked Northwestern in 2010.
BATTLING BOSTON COLLEGE: The Irish will take on the Eagles of Boston College at 1 p.m. EDT on Sunday in continued ACC action. The Irish are 11-0 all-time against the Eagles, including a 6-1 victory last season in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. Boston College and DePaul (22-0) are the only programs against which the Irish own an undefeated record in at least 10 matches.
RACKET RAFFLE: The Irish will give away a new HEAD tennis racket during their match with the Eagles on Sunday. Enter to win before the match and during the doubles competition. A winner will be announced before the singles matches begin. Must be present to win.
RANKINGS UPDATE: In the latest ITA team poll, Notre Dame fell two spots to No. 28 after a 5-2 win over then-No. 34 Syracuse and a 6-1 loss to No. 5 Virginia. Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson held steady at No. 21 in the doubles rankings, while Allison Miller and Julie Vrabel entered the poll for the first time at No. 55. Miller and Vrabel are 6-5 in dual matches this season, but defeated then-No. 23 Skylar Morton and Cassie Mercer of Virginia on March 1.
THE ODD COUPLE: Since starting the season 2-2, 21st-ranked doubles tandem Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson have been on a tear of late, winning their last three doubles matches and seven of their last eight for an 8-3 record at No. 1 singles. The pair bring differing but complementary styles to the court, with Gleason the more outspoken teammate and Robinson the more reserved.
TOP-NOTCH GLEASON: Junior Quinn Gleason currently ranks 12th in Irish history in singles dual-match winning percentage (minimum 20 matches). Her 43-17 (.717) record thus far puts her just behind Kelly Zalinski (’00, .721) and ahead of former teammates Jennifer Kellner (’14, .700, 14th) and Britney Sanders (’14, .660, 16th).
CONFERENCE CONFIDENCE: The Irish are off to a 3-1 start in the Atlantic Coast Conference, their best conference start since joining the ACC. Last season, Notre Dame opened the conference slate 0-4 before going 8-2 the rest of the season to finish 7th (of 15) in the standings. The Irish currently sit in sixth place behind Miami, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Virginia.
RETURN TO REGULAR SCORING: The Atlantic Coast Conference has moved to re-implement the regular scoring format utilized in 2014. To begin the season, matches have been played with no-ad scoring, based on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s recommendations for increasing pace of play. Going forward, all conference matches will once again include an eight-game pro-set for the doubles point with a tiebreak at 7-7, and advantage scoring will be used. For women’s play, doubles play will be stopped once the doubles point is clinched, and singles will utilize a match tiebreak (first to 10 by two) in lieu of a third set once the match is clinched.
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant