Feb. 19, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team kicks off its Atlantic Coast Conference slate this weekend with matches on the road at Louisville and Pittsburgh.
The 26th-ranked Irish (4-3, 0-0 ACC) will face the No. 74 Cardinals (9-3, 1-0 ACC) at 4 p.m. ET Friday at the Bass-Rudd Tennis Center in Louisville, Kentucky, and will then head north for an 11 a.m. ET tilt with the Panthers (2-4, 0-1 ACC) on Sunday at the Alpha Fitness and Tennis Center in Pittsburgh.
Louisville is coming off a pair of losses last weekend to Marshall and No. 71 Minnesota, but the Cardinals boast a strong middle of the singles lineup. They are undefeated at Nos. 3 and 4 singles this season, and have just one loss apiece at the No. 2 and No. 5 slots. In doubles, No. 1 tandem Ariana Rodriguez and Elle Stokes own a 7-1 record, while No. 2 pair Olivia Boesing and Chloe Willetts are 8-1 in dual match play.
After dropping their first four matches of the season, the Panthers picked up two wins last weekend against Duquesne and Eastern Michigan. Pittsburgh is 0-3 against ranked opponents in dual match play, including losses to Baylor (then No. 6), Tulsa (then No. 25) and Louisville.
The Irish are coming off a weekend split with a win over Illinois and a loss to Indiana a week ago on their first road trip of the season. Head coach Jay Louderback said he expects his young group to adjust to both the travel and level of competition as the season goes on.
“If you look at our lineup, we’re young,” Louderback said. “Our singles lineup, we have two juniors and the rest are sophomores and freshmen. Last year, I think by the end of the year we grew a lot with the travel, and I think that will help us this year because, even though we’ve got a lot of young ones, all of our sophomores did all the travel last year, so they know what it’s like.”
- The Atlantic Coast Conference has moved to re-implement the regular scoring format utilized in 2014. To this point in the season, matches have been played with no-ad scoring, based on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s recommendations for increasing pace of play. 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.
- In the latest ITA doubles poll, Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson jumped two spots to No. 14 after notching wins over No. 10 Emina Bektas/Alex Najarian (Michigan) and No. 26 Gabriella De Santis/Sandy Niehaus (Ohio State). Gleason and Robinson are 4-2 on the season, and 2-1 against ranked opponents.
- Notre Dame is one of five programs with at least one men’s and women’s doubles tandem ranking in the top 20 nationally. The Irish join USC, Vanderbilt, UCLA and Oklahoma State with representatives on the list. Of those programs, Notre Dame is the only school with three such doubles pairs (No. 14 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson; men’s No. 4 Billy Pecor / Alex Lawson, No. 17 Josh Hagar / Eddy Covalschi).
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant