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ND Women’s Tennis

Squad returns home to face tough test against Boilermakers

| Wednesday, February 13, 2019

After four-straight matches on the road, Notre Dame is back home this Wednesday against Purdue.

This past weekend, the Irish (4-2) lost a 3-4 match against Illinois before pulling out a thrilling 4-3 win against Indiana. The two close matchups made for a tense weekend, and Irish head coach Alison Silverio believes her team learned from the experience.

Michelle Mehelas | The Observer

Irish junior Ally Bojczuk follows through on a return hit during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Bowling Green on Jan. 23 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

“It was an exciting weekend for us, two real battles. I think, No. 1, what we learned is we need to continue to take care of the details, both on and off the court and how that makes a difference in the matches, and just the consistency of it,” Silverio said. “The other piece that I learned is their relentlessness and their ability to be resilient in challenging situations. It’s a characteristic that we certainly want to have as we continue to approach our tougher matches.”

Speaking of tougher matches, the team is in the midst of preparing to take on Purdue (5-1). The Boilermakers sit at 5-1 with a road win over No. 12 Ole Miss and a road win over Virginia Tech. The Irish are 1-2 against Big Ten opponents this season, and will need a strong performance from the entire team to get a win on Wednesday. Silverio thinks Purdue will be a strong home test for the Irish.

“Purdue is a very talented team, they’re very well coached. We respect their program and what they have done. They’re going to come in and give us all they have. That’s what’s awesome about our schedule. We’re playing tough match after tough match,” Silverio said. “Most of our opponents are going to get up for us and going to be high for the match because they are competing against Notre Dame and they know the tradition that we have here.”

The team has leaned largely on the play of sophomore Cameron Corse and freshman Zoe Taylor. The pair is undefeated in singles play in the spring season, with Corse sitting at 5-0 and Taylor at 4-0. Corse was forced to rally back after losing her first set against Indiana, winning two-straight sets to clinch the match for the Irish. Silverio had high praise for the youthful duo.

“Both Cameron and Zoe Taylor have been doing a great job coming in consistently every day to practice and to workouts and to individuals. They’re bringing a positive attitude and a phenomenal work ethic,” Silverio said. “There are specific areas in each of their games that we’re developing and they’re working on and they’re translating it into the matches. They’re believing in and trusting the process and understanding their identities when they’re out there in practice and when we’re competing.”

In addition to the strong play of Corse and Taylor, the Irish will benefit from playing the Boilermakers at home. Notre Dame has blown opponents out in South Bend thus far this season, going 2-0 against Western Michigan and Bowling Green to start the season and winning both matches 7-0. Silverio and her team are excited to get back to playing in front of their home fans.

“We love playing at home in front of our fans in our facility at Notre Dame. We’re excited and grateful for the opportunity to get back out there and build upon the belief and competitiveness that we had this weekend,” Silverio said. “We had one match go our way and one that didn’t. We learned from both, and now we have an opportunity to come back Wednesday and be home and be able to play with gratefulness and go out there and continue to get better.”

The Irish will take on the Boilermakers at Eck Tennis Pavilion at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

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