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ND Women’s Tennis

Notre Dame comes up short against No. 3 Duke

| Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Notre Dame was on the brink of an upset victory over No. 3 Duke on Sunday before losing 4-3 in a fiercely contested home match. The Blue Devils have three players ranked in the nation’s top 25, but the Irish looked formidable and played well enough to compete with any team in the country.

The match began with Duke (17-2, 9-1 ACC) earning two dominant 6-3 victories in doubles to secure a 1-0 lead over the Irish (10-10, 3-8). In singles, Irish sophomore Cameron Corse evened the score by beating Duke senior Ellyse Hamlin, who was on a seven-match winning streak. Freshman Zoe Taylor gave Notre Dame the lead with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over sophomore Hannah Zhao. Sophomore Kelly Chen tipped the momentum back in Duke’s favor by defeating sophomore Ally Bojczuk in two sets.The Blue Devils would go on to regain the lead as senior Kaitlyn McCarthy won versus junior Bess Waldram. Duke clinched the overall victory when No. 15 ITA-ranked freshman Maria Mateas outlasted No. 63-ranked junior Zoe Spence in three closely contested sets. Graduate student Brooke Broda closed out freshman Margaryta Bilokin in three sets to finish up the match for Notre Dame.

Allison Thornton | The Observer
Graduate student Brooke Broda follows through on a serve in a match against Purdue on Feb. 13.

After the loss to Duke, the Irish dropped their last five games and eight of their last 10. After the match, Irish head coach Alison Silverio reflected on her team’s hard work and effort against Duke.

“It was a battle on both sides, and this is a match where we put it all out there,” Silverio said. “I think Duke put it all out there, too, and they came out on the winning side today. There are a lot of little victories that we can grab ahold of from this match and really continue to grow our belief, culture and discipline. Overall … we performed at a high level, and we want to continue to build off of that growth and momentum.”

Silverio also highlighted Corse’s high level of play during the match.

“Cameron Corse is certainly someone who sticks out,” Silverio said. “She’s been someone that has been coming in every day consistently keeping her head down and working hard. She’s going after her serve, coming forward and finishing points and really buying into her identity.”

The Irish will travel to Charlottesville, Virginia, on Friday to play Virginia. Silverio stressed the importance of this match when discussing her goals for the rest of the season.

“Our overall big picture goal is that we want to continue to develop and to approach every day as an opportunity to get better,” Silverio said. “We understand what’s on the line in these next three matches of the regular season and … the ACC tournament. We want to earn a berth into postseason play, so we understand the value that each day brings.”

Silverio also noted how pleased she is by the character and poise of the team.

“There are many things that impress me about this great group of girls,” Silverio said. “No. 1 is the people that they are.They care for and support one another on and off the court. They are all buying in and taking ownership of something that’s really greater than themselves. We get to come out here every day and represent our Notre Dame family. They deal with pressures in academics and the expectations that come along with high achieving … with grace, gratitude and a lot of humility.”

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