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Irish fall in Columbus, look to rebound against Fighting Illini

| Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Notre Dame women’s tennis suffered their first loss of the season this weekend, falling 6-1 in Columbus, Ohio to the 16th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes.  After facing off against a series of unranked opponents, the Irish (3-1, 1-0 ACC) faced a major challenge on the road and failed to take advantage of the opportunity for an upset. But Irish head coach Alison Silverio said the team will need to move on quickly, as a challenging series of big ten foes await the Irish over the next month.

“It was a tough battle for us. We certainly know that Ohio State came out doing things a little bit better than us today,” Coach Silverio said. “We have to put our heads down and get back to work. It was a great opportunity to see a team of that level early in the season. The difference certainly is not that big, but there are things we need to work on and continue to do better. Credit to Ohio State for the way they battled today.”

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer
Notre Dame graduate student Brooke Broda sends play back to her opponent in a match against Bowling Green State University at Eck Tennis Pavilion in January.

Notre Dame’s lone winner on the day was sophomore Cameron Corse, who defeated Ohio State (3-1) junior Danielle Wolf 7-5, 6-2. Corse has yet to lose a match this spring season, and Coach Silverio had high praise for her player’s performance.

“[Corse] has been consistently coming out and putting in solid work in practice. I think for her, fitness has been a big confidence builder. She’s getting stronger, she’s getting quicker. She’s someone that brings a ton of energy in her matches,” Silverio said. “She’s going to be feisty and pump you up and let her teammates know when she has done something well. She supports her teammates. The mentality that she has been bringing to the matches of really just getting after it has made a big difference.”

Notre Dame did not get its usual strong performance from top players. The four top-ranked singles players for the Irish all lost in straight sets. It was the first test against a ranked team for the Irish, and they will look to learn from the loss as they continue the spring season.

Notre Dame now faces three out-of-conference, Big Ten opponents in a row, with a road matchup against the University of Illinois coming first this Friday, Feb. 8. The Fighting Illini are 0-3 on the spring season, but all three loss have come at the hands of ranked teams. According to Coach Silverio, it will be an excellent opportunity for the Irish to make a statement outside of ACC play.

“Illinois is another tough team, that’s what I think is so important for us. It’s awesome to play a schedule where we play tough match after tough match because ultimately that’s going to make us better,” Silverio said.  “We have high standards and to be the best you have to be able to beat and compete against the best. We’re looking forward to another high caliber match. We want to battle, we want it be tough. We can not wait to get out there again.”

The match between Notre Dame and Illinois will take place Friday in Champaign, Ill. Match time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

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