ND Women’s Tennis: Notre Dame looking to rebound outdoors
Chris Allen | Friday, March 19, 2010
The No.4 Irish look to rebound as they start their stateside outdoor schedule at No.17 Vanderbilt after losing to then-No.7 Duke on outdoor courts in Puerto Rico over Spring Break.
Vanderbilt (7-4) is coming off of a loss to Georgia at home March 14. Irish coach Jay Louderback said he believes Vanderbilt will challenge his squad as they adjust to the outdoor schedule.
“They lost to Georgia, but they also beat a ranked team in Tennessee,” Louderback said. “With them, you’re talking about a team that’s coming off a bunch of close matches that they lost. They’re always a top-20 team that plays well and more importantly plays well outside.”
The Irish (12-2) split two games in Puerto Rico over the break, defeating William and Mary 5-2 and losing to Duke by the same score. After playing their entire schedule to this point on indoor courts, the Irish are still adjusting to the outdoor slate and the match against Vanderbilt will be a big test as they look to improve.
“It’s big playing against a good team outdoors,” Louderback said. “Starting off we are 1-1 outdoors, and we didn’t really play that well against Duke. We need to show that we can be a good outdoor team.”
Sophomore Kristy Frilling, who has led the Irish with a 12-2 mark at No. 1 singles and holds a No. 14 national ranking, will face off against a tough opponent in fellow sophomore No. 24 Jasmine Wu. However, it is likely the doubles that will set the tone for the match.
While the team of Frilling and senior Kali Krisik has been flawless all season, the Nos. 2 and 3 doubles teams will need to elevate their play and secure the doubles point.
“On the road it’s important to get up in the doubles,” Louderback said. “Our first team has been playing real well, but we’ve got to get our second and third teams a little more consistent.”
The Irish will square off against the Commodores at the Brownlee O. Curry Tennis Center in Nashville today at 2:30 p.m.