April 16, 2007
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – For the 11th time in 12 years as a member of the conference, Notre Dame has earned the No. 1 seed in the BIG EAST Conference Women’s Tennis Championship, slated for this Thursday-Sunday, April 19-22, at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The Irish, ranked second in the nation, gained a bye in the first round and will be in action in the semifinals on Friday at 9 a.m. (EDT) against either eighth-seeded Seton Hall or ninth-seeded Connecticut. The final is set for Sunday at Noon (EDT).
USF earned the No. 2 seed, while No. 3 Louisville, No. 4 Marquette and No. 5 West Virginia round out the top five. Syracuse has earned the No. 6 seed followed by No. 7 DePaul and No. 8 Seton Hall. Rounding out the contender pool at No. 9 are the Connecticut Huskies followed by No. 10 Cincinnati, No. 11 St. John’s and No. 12 Rutgers.
Notre Dame has reached the final of the BIG EAST tournament in all 11 years since becoming a conference member in 1995-96, winning championships in 1996, ’97, ’99, 2001, ’03, ’05 and `06.
A year ago, the Irish cruised to their second consecutive BIG EAST Conference Championship. Notre Dame blanked both Rutgers and DePaul to reach the title match against USF. The Irish upended the Bulls, 4-1.
All 12 members of the BIG EAST Conference field teams in women’s tennis, but the league does not require round-robin competition during the season. Each of the 12 teams, as selected by the conference based on national ranking and head-to-head results, earned invitations to the league championship, a single-elimination team tournament with the top four seeds receiving byes and the winner gaining the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Championship, which begins on campus sites May 11-13.
Notre Dame played three BIG EAST members during the regular season, defeating Louisville, DePaul and Marquette. The Irish are the only nationally-ranked squad in the conference, meaning they will be trying to extend a 74-match winning streak against unranked teams that dates back to 1994 (7-2 loss to Northwestern on Feb. 20). Notre Dame holds a 38-2 all-time record against current members of the BIG EAST.
Thursday, April 19
#8 Seton Hall vs. #9 Connecticut, 9:00 a.m.
#5 West Virginia vs. #12 Rutgers, 12:00 p.m.
#6 Syracuse vs. #11 St. John’s, 12:00 p.m.
#7 DePaul vs. #10 Cincinnati, 9:00 a.m.
Friday, April 20
#1 Notre Dame vs. #8 Seton Hall/#9 Connecticut, 9:00 a.m.
#4 Marquette vs. #5 West Virginia/#12 Rutgers, 12:00 p.m.
#3 Louisville vs. #6 Syracuse/#11 St. John’s, 12:00 p.m.
#2 USF vs. #7 DePaul/#10 Cincinnati, 9:00 a.m.
Saturday, April 21
Semifinal #1, 12:00 p.m.
Semifinal #2, 12:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 22
Final, 12:00 p.m.
— ND —