NOTRE DAME, Indiana — The Notre Dame women’s tennis team battle third-ranked Duke to the very end, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Blue Devils on Sunday afternoon at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The No. 42 Irish (10-10, 3-8 ACC) split the singles matches with the Blue Devils (17-2, 8-1 ACC) while the visitors took the doubles point. It marked the fifth consecutive ranked opponent for Notre Dame, with the 4-3 margin providing the closet opportunity at an upset thus far.
“We say we always want to respect our opponents, but we’re not going to fear anyone. We want to instill the fear,” said head coach Alison Silverio following the match. “Our team has been going a great job of growing and instilling some fear. Everyone that goes out against us, they know we’re going to put up a valiant fight and a battle. These last three ACC matches are going to be a great representation of what we’re going to take into the (conference) tournament.”
How It Happened
Duke won the doubles point via a pair of 6-3 victories. The first came on court three, where Kaitlyn McCarthy and Ema Lazic defeated Zoe Taylor and Ally Bojczuk, with the clincher coming at court two where Maria Mateas and Margaryta Bilokin were victorious over Bess Waldram and Brooke Broda. Notre Dame’s pair of Cameron Corse and Zoe Spence trailed Ellyse Hamlin and Kelly Chen at the top of the lineup, 5-4, when the point was clinched.
The Irish rallied in singles action, starting at three singles where Corse secured a 6-2, 6-3 win over Hamlin to tie the team score at one. Taylor then put the Irish ahead with a 6-2, 6-3 decision over Hannah Zhao at six singles. Duke tied the match at two singles where Chen (ITA No. 22) defeated Bojczuk, 6-4, 6-2, then took the lead at court four with McCarthy defeating Waldram, 6-3, 6-0.
All eyes turned to courts one and five. The match would be decided at the top of the lineup where Mateas (ITA No. 15) and Spence (ITA No. 63) traded dominant first sets (6-1, 0-6) before Mateas captured the third, 6-2, to give the Blue Devils the match. Broda and Bilokin were locked in a battle on court five, but it was the Irish graduate student who would take the match (6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 10-4) to provide the final margin of 4-3.
Head coach Alison Silverio on the match
On how she feels about her team with three regular season matches remaining…
“The ones that were successful today from a results standpoint have really taken ownership. The ones that didn’t quite get it done today, and in doubles, we certainly were in a position to be successful. We’re doing a lot of great things. Zoe Spence, Ally Bojczuk, Bess Waldram all battled their tails off and are fighting. It didn’t quite go their way today, but a lof of little victories from a mental standpoint. We set goals at the beginning of the year and the overall big picture goal is we want to continue to develop and approach every day as an opportunity to get better. We understand what’s on the line in these next three matches of the regular season and going into the ACC tournament. We want to earn a berth into that (NCAA) postseason, so we understand the value that each day brings if we want to be able to capitalize on it.”
On where she is most proud of her program in her first season…
“There are many things that impress me about this group. Number one is the people they are, how they care for one another and how they support one another on and off the court. They are all buying in and taking ownership of something that’s greater than themselves. To come out here every day and represent the Notre Dame family and our (women’s tennis) family is what’s so impressive about these young ladies. They’re dealing with pressures in academics, dealing with high expectations (on the court) and they’re doing it with grace and gratitude and humility.”
- In 11 ACC matches this season, the Irish have faced 10 teams ranked among the nation’s top 35.
- Corse improved to 14-4 in singles action this spring.
- Broda now stands 11-6 at singles this spring.
- Taylor improved to 10-3 during her rookie spring in singles.
#3 Duke 4, #42 Notre Dame 3
Mar 31, 2019 at Notre Dame, IN (Eck Tennis Pavilion)
|1. #15 Maria Mateas (DU) def. #63 Zoe Spence (ND) 6-1, 0-6, 6-2|
|2. #22 Kelly Chen (DU) def. Ally Bojczuk (ND) 6-4, 6-2|
|3. Cameron Corse (ND) def. Ellyse Hamlin (DU) 6-2, 6-3|
|4. Kaitlyn McCarthy (DU) def. Bess Waldram (ND) 6-3, 6-0|
|5. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Margaryta Bilokin (DU) 6-7 (7-9), 6-3, 1-0 (10-4)|
|6. Zoe Taylor (ND) def. Hannah Zhao (DU) 6-2, 6-3|
|1. #59 Cameron Corse/Zoe Spence (ND) vs. #69 Ellyse Hamlin/Kelly Chen (DU) 4-5, unfinished|
|2. Maria Mateas/Margaryta Bilokin (DU) def. Bess Waldram/Brooke Broda (ND) 6-3|
|3. Kaitlyn McCarthy/Ema Lazic (DU) def. Zoe Taylor/Ally Bojczuk (ND) 6-3|
|Duke 17-2, 8-1; National ranking #3|
|Notre Dame 10-10, 3-8; National ranking #42|
|Order of finish: Doubles (3,2); Singles (3,6,2,4,1,5)|
The Irish swing through the Commonwealth of Virginia for a pair of matches at Virginia and Virginia Tech. The Irish take on the 27th-ranked Cavaliers in Charlottesville on Friday, April 5 (5 p.m.) before visiting the Hokies in Blacksburg on Sunday, April 7 (1 p.m.).