ND Women’s Tennis
In Silverio’s second season, Irish look for consistency
Liam Coolican | Friday, September 20, 2019
The Notre Dame women’s tennis team is preparing to kick off its season this weekend. Part of the team will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan, for the Michigan Invitational and the rest will head south to Auburn, Alabama, to compete in the Auburn Invitational.
“We’re excited to get out there and play against other teams and strong opponents,” head coach Alison Silverio said.
Silverio, an NCAA champion and tournament MVP during her playing career at Georgia Tech, is in her second season leading the Irish after previously serving as head coach at the University of Oregon. She says she wants her team to be more consistent in their approach this year.
“Our goals for this upcoming fall are to be really consistent day-in and day-out with how we approach practice and how we are approaching our attitudes, our efforts, the areas that we have control over,” Silverio said. “That’s something that’s really important to us, both on and off the court. We always have goals of having academic excellence, as well.”
The Irish bring back an experienced group, returning nearly their entire team from last year. Silverio said the team’s experience is important, especially given their tough schedule.
“It’s very important. We essentially have our whole team back from last year, and they all competed at a very high level last year,” she said. “We know what we’re up against, being in the ACC and our spring schedule. We believe that to be the best we’ve got to play against the best, so we certainly make our schedule very challenging, and the girls are ready for that, they’re excited about it and they’re ready to make a mark this year.”
Silverio also wants to continue building a winning culture both on and off the court.
“This fall is going to be about continuing to build our foundation, building our culture — through consistency and relentless work ethic every single day,” she said.
Silverio did bring in a new coaching staff for this season. Megan Kurey, a former All-American who played at Georgia Tech from 2012-2016, was hired as an assistant coach in June. Kurey was previously an assistant at Kansas State. The Irish also named Daniela Nasser a volunteer assistant coach last month. Nasser joins the staff after playing under Silverio for three years at Oregon.
Notre Dame finished last season with a respectable 13-12 overall record, but were only 1-11 against ranked teams. Silverio says some opportunities slipped away in those big matches.
“Our biggest improvement is going to be the belief in ourselves, being able to capitalize on big opportunities,” said Silverio. “We put ourselves in very good situations last year, and we did fall short in a few of the matches that we played, which could’ve changed the outcome of our season. We want to grow in that belief, and capitalize on the opportunities that we know are going to bring us closer to our end goal of the NCAA tournament and beyond.”
However, Silverio said she was proud of the way her players competed last year through those games.
“Our greatest strength last season was our resilience and our ability to attack adversity that we faced,” she said. “All of our players did a phenomenal job being resilient and being able to bounce back when some tough things were thrown our way.”
The Irish are trying to reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since the 2016-17 season.