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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish look to clinch 13th and final Big East title

Vicky Jacobsen | Friday, April 19, 2013

Notre Dame has won 12 Big East championships over the years, including the last five in a row. But this is the last time the Irish will travel to Tampa, Fla., for the annual tournament, which began yesterday.

The No. 21 Irish (14-8, 3-0) would like to say goodbye to the Big East by taking home one more conference title.

“We are so excited to compete in the Big East Tournament,” senior Chrissie McGaffigan said. “We always look forward to representing Notre Dame in our conference tournament.”

Notre Dame had a bye and did not compete in the first round. The Irish begin tournament play this morning against Marquette, who they beat 6-1 on the Golden Eagles’ home courts Apr. 2.

“We have played them earlier in the season, so we know what to expect and will be ready,” McGaffigan said. 

The Irish quickly dispatched Marquette during their weekday matchup earlier this month. Notre Dame won all three doubles matches. The only singles loss of the day came on the No. 6 court when freshman Laia Hernandez Soler, one of a pair of twins on the team, defeated Irish junior Julie Sabacinski, 2-6, 6-2, 11-9.

The tournament final will be Sunday afternoon, and the winner earns an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

This is the third straight contest the Irish have played in Florida. They closed out their regular season with visits to both Central Florida in Orlando and USF in Tampa, Fla., last weekend. They are returning to USF for the conference tournament this weekend.

“It is beautiful here in Tampa, and the weather is perfect tennis weather,” McGaffigan said. 

But before the Irish hit the courts, they will have a chance to socialize with their opponents off the court at the Big East banquet, an annual tradition.

“It’s always fun to eat dinner with the teams that we compete with during the day,” McGaffigan said.

The Irish will begin tournament play at the USF Varsity Courts in Tampa, Fla., at 9 a.m. today.

Contact Vicky Jacobsen at [email protected]