ND Women’s Tennis
Silverio pleased by team’s performance in wins over Michigan State, Wright State
Patrick Gallagher | Monday, February 18, 2019
Notre Dame secured two commanding victories Saturday against Michigan State and Wright State by scores of 4-0 and 7-0, respectively. The Irish (7-2) were coming off a comfortable win against Purdue on Wednesday and looked to extend their home winning streak against the Spartans (6-4) and Raiders (3-5). When reflecting upon Saturday’s matches, head coach Alison Silverio said she was impressed by players’ mental strength and endurance.
“Overall, we were tough today,” Silverio said. “We were gritty. It is certainly not easy to play in a double-header against two quality teams, and we … had specific focuses for each player. We were able to execute those well today, and I think that’s something we’ve been doing consistently in practice. It’s great to see that transferring into the matches.”
Silverio said the team has been working on forcing their opponents to be more mobile.
“We’ve been working a lot with our players with coming forward,” Silverio said. “That entails a lot of power setting up our serve and our service placement. One thing that we work on quite a bit in practice is serving out wide on the deuce side and hitting our first ball to the open court, which typically is going to get our opponent on the run. The goal is to come forward off of that and finish with a volley.”
The Michigan State match began with junior Zoe Spence and graduate student Brooke Broda clinching the doubles point with a hard fought 6-4 win over their Spartan opponents. In singles, junior Bess Waldram led the charge for the Irish by dispatching freshman Maja Pietrowicz in two sets. On the other singles courts, freshman Zoe Taylor and sophomore Ally Bojczuk both claimed decisive victories to secure Notre Dame’s victory.
Later in the day, the Irish started doubles play against the Raiders as Waldram and sophomore Cameron Corse defeated senior Haily Morgan and junior Madison Riley in two sets. Taylor and fellow freshman Maeve Koscielski earned the doubles point for Notre Dame by beating their opponents 6-4. Spence initiated singles play with a dominating 6-2, 6-0 victory, and the Irish would go on to win all of their matches that evening.
After the match, Coach Silverio said she was impressed with her team’s ability to set the tone early on in the day.
“In the first match, [Waldram] and [Broda] did a phenomenal job to get us on the board quickly … and were the catalysts with their energy,” Silverio said. “In both matches, the doubles [performances] were a big standout for our coaching staff because it’s something we’ve been focused on quite a bit in practice. To come out and play … and to be very active at the net was something that really stood out for us.”
Silverio also expressed confidence in her team when asked about their preparation for ACC matches.
“The preparation for [ACC play] really started in the fall when we started this journey together,” Silverio said. “It’s just been an honor to work with all these student athletes and see them grow as tennis players and people. We were just discussing in our post-match meeting about how we’re using all of these experiences … in the practices to prepare us for what is to come in the ACC. It’s going to be a tough match every time we’re out there in conference, so we are just going to continue to call on our experiences.”
The Irish will take a few days off before gearing up the host Clemson and Syracuse this weekend at Eck Tennis Pavillion. The matchup against the Tigers is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday while Notre Dame will return Sunday to host the Orange at 11 a.m.