ND Women’s Tennis
Irish defeat Eagles, build momentum for ACC tournament
Observer Sports Staff | Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Last Friday, the Irish ended the regular season on a high note by dominating Boston College 4-0 at home.
The Eagles (15-9, 5-9 ACC) were coming off a four-match winning streak and sought to retain that momentum going into the ACC tournament. Notre Dame (12-11, 5-9 ACC) had just broken its six-match losing streak with an emphatic 5-2 win over Virginia Tech and looked to improve its ACC record to 5-9. Having won this last matchup, the Irish have only ever lost once to Boston College in the 16 matches played in the series between the two schools.
As the contest commenced, junior Bess Waldram and graduate student Brooke Broda defeated sophomores Natasha Irani and Loren Haukova 6-1 in the first doubles match of the afternoon. Freshman Zoe Taylor and sophomore Ally Bojcuk secured the doubles point for the Irish by beating junior Elene Tsokilauri and freshman Laura Lopez, 6-2.
In singles, Irish sophomore Cameron Corse set the tone for Notre Dame with a two-set victory over Eagles senior Jackie Urbinati. This match marked Corse’s 17th singles win of the spring season, in which she has really established herself as one of the most talented players on Notre Dame’s roster. Waldram pushed Notre Dame to the brink of victory as she beat Laura Lopez in a competitive contest and gave the Irish a 3-0 lead. No. 67-ranked Zoe Spence’s strong performance against No. 103-ranked Kylie Wilcox on court one gave Notre Dame its 12th overall win of the spring. Spence’s match marked her fourth victory over a ranked player this season. The contest would also be the last home match in the collegiate careers of Broda and senior Rachel Chong.
With a quality win on their resume, the Irish earned the 10th seed in the annual ACC tournament in Cary, North Carolina. They will play the No. 15-seed, Pitt, in the first round on Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. Earlier in the year, Notre Dame crushed the Panthers (4-17, 0-14 ACC) 6-1 in Pittsburgh during their first ACC match of the spring. It has been a historically rough year for Pitt as they have only won four matches all season and have gone winless in ACC play. To make matters worse, the university has decided to discontinue its women’s tennis program after the ACC tournament. While the Panthers have lost all nine matches away from home, Pitt will give the Irish a spirited performance in what could be their last match ever.
Should Notre Dame win, they will face No. 7-seed Virginia in the second round. Earlier this month, the Cavaliers (16-7, 8-6 ACC) beat the Irish 5-2 in Charlottesville; however, Notre Dame competed fiercely as most of the matches went to three sets. Virginia has shown some vulnerabilities since then and are on a two-match losing streak going into the ACC tournament. It will definitely be looking to gain some much-needed confidence in the postseason and will be a tough draw for the Irish.