ND Women’s Tennis
After a devastating loss to Northwestern, Irish look to triumph over Washington
Olivia Schatz | Thursday, February 17, 2022
After a devastating loss to Northwestern on Feb. 13, the Notre Dame’s women’s tennis team is back at home Sunday to host the Washington Huskies. The Irish hope to continue their home record of 5-1, the one loss being the season opener against Kentucky. Notre Dame has since improved, winning against teams such as Purdue, Yale and Michigan State. In addition, the Irish’s other two losses are to No. 5 Pepperdine and Northwestern — who currently homes top-100 player Clarissa Hand. With that said, this weekend’s match will not be easy for the Irish to overcome, and each member must dig deep to pull out a win.
The Huskies have the same record as the Irish (6-3), but their losses are proven to be more difficult. All three losses, Georgia (8), Auburn (13) and Florida (14) are currently ranked higher than Washington (16). In addition, each team they have lost to has multiple ranked single players as well as double teams. Auburn and Florida each have one player ranked in the top 50, while the Bulldog’s have three, including number 10 Mell Reasco. With impressive losses, the Huskies also have impressive wins, including beating No. 22 UCLA (4-3). In addition, Washington currently has a two game road winning streak, including their win over UCLA. Their only losses have been in neutral territory. The Huskies have proven to be able to combat the home advantage that so many teams rely on.
While this will be a tough matchup, the Irish will not lay down idly. Each member of the Notre Dame squad has their unique skills that they hope will assist in taking down the Huskies. While the Irish do not have any single players ranked, University of Washington only has one player, senior Nika Zupancic, ranked at 98. And comparatively, the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) had Irish double’s pair junior Page Freeman and senior Julia Lilien ranked preseason at 37. While that specific double has not played together yet this season, Freeman was the only one to secure a win against Northwestern on Sunday. Freeman has also been finding a lot of success as of late with doubles partner sophomore Julia Andreach against Purdue as well as with sophomore Meghan Coleman against Yale and Northern Illinois. Other players such as freshman Nibedita Ghosh, freshman Carrie Beckman and freshman Maria Olivia Castedo have all had their fair shares of wins and will look to bounce back after last weekend.
The Irish must come out hot and use their home streak momentum to finish off the Huskies. While the match will be tough, by using their home court advantage, the Irish will have a key edge that will hopefully assist in their first ranked win of the season. This will be the last game Notre Dame plays before ACC play begins on Feb. 25 against North Carolina, and the Irish hope to claim as many wins as possible to keep momentum into conference play.
The Irish are back at home on Sunday against the Washington Huskies at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Play begins at 11:30 a.m.