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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish to take on Trojans before ACC play begins

| Thursday, February 13, 2020

This Saturday, the Notre Dame women’s tennis team will be traveling south to Lake Nona, Florida, for a match against No. 20 University of Southern California. This is the first time that Irish (6-3) will take on the Trojans (4-1) in more than a decade.

Coming off of a tough weekend of regional competition against Northwestern and Purdue, the Notre Dame women seek to be both prepared and excited to face off against a storied school rival. The team will be traveling to the Orlando area with all eight players, including redshirt sophomore Julia Lilien.

Allison Thornton | The Observer

Irish senior Zoe Spence finishes her swing during a 4-0 Notre Dame win against Purdue at home on Feb. 13, 2019.

Looking to capitalize on last weekend’s momentum, head coach Alison Silverio said she aims to utilize all of the tools that this team has to offer. She made reference to freshman Page Freeman’s performances last weekend against both Northwestern and Purdue.

“Freeman has really been stepping up and working diligently on her game, but also her mental toughness and attitude throughout her matches this past weekend,” Silverio said. “She displayed a lot of that confidence and that championship mindset.”

Freeman is the team’s only freshman addition for the 19-20 season and is already proving able to carry her own weight against top competitors. The team will be relying on a continued hard-fought performance from her against USC this upcoming weekend.

Again reflecting on the past week’s matches, Silverio pointed to the team’s ability to quickly adapt and improve from past failures. She believes this desire to keep improving will help push the team to victory.

“It takes a team to get a victory,” she said. “It was certainly positive to see certain struggles that we had on Friday with some of our players, and we were able to make those adjustments for Sunday’s match and improve.”

With so many returners, the Irish are relying heavily on experience and the confidence that comes with it. Silverio spoke highly of her battle-tested team, composed almost entirely of returning players.

“I think that just the experience that we have on our team, the professionalism that they used in approaching this season, has certainly made an impact and is going to keep propelling us in the right direction as we continue our season,” she said.

Specifically, Silverio said the upperclassmen on the team carry a lot of weight, both on the court and off.

“Obviously we have our two seniors, Zoe Spence and Bess Waldram, and our two juniors, Ally Bojczuk and Cameron Corse,” she said. “They’re all doing a phenomenal job leading vocally and also leading by example. They’re really stepping up in that competitive mindset as we move forward. They all were a part of last year, as well as our sophomores, going through the gauntlet of the ACC season.”

The match against USC will be the team’s last before heading right into ACC play. A victory here could signify a positive outlook for the rest of the season.

Silverio commented on the grander-than-normal stage that this competition will be played on.

“Our whole squad will be traveling, all eight of us,” she said. “We’ll have performance staff with us, as well, which will be exciting to take a larger group to Orlando with us. It is a College MatchDay, which is put on by the USTA. It’s an exciting event. We’ll be on TV. There will be great coverage, not only for the tennis world, but also for our Notre Dame family. We’re looking forward to being able to represent in the right way on that big stage.”

The match is scheduled to begin 5 p.m. Saturday and will be broadcast live on Tennis Channel Plus.

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