ND Women’s Tennis
No. 9 seed Irish face off against No. 8 seed FSU in the ACC tournament
Olivia Schatz | Thursday, April 21, 2022
The Notre Dame women’s tennis team closed out their season with a 13-11 overall record and 5-8 in conference. The Irish finished their regular season ranked No. 42 overall. While Notre Dame has a pretty successful record, they suffered three loses out of the last four games they played. Even with a rough ending to the season, the Irish has had some success overall with wins against Syracuse (4-3), Boston College (4-3), No. 35 Washington (5-2) and No. 13 Miami (5-2).
The Irish clutched the No. 9 seed where they will face No. 8 Florida State. FSU is ranked No. 35 overall. This will not be the first time the two teams match up as on April 10, the two teams faced off and the Seminoles eventually took the victory. However, head coach Alison Silverio is confident in her team’s ability to outperform this time.
“We certainly had our opportunities the first time we played Florida State at home and they had a great job battling back,” Silverio said. “I think for this match we still stick with our same focus in trusting in our preparation, but knowing that when our opportunities rise tomorrow to shut the door we need to sprint through that finish.”
When asked which match would be the match to watch, Silverio answered that it will “come down to the wire in almost every court.”
However, Silverio pointed out that it will be the doubles matches that will set the tone for the remainder of the meet. The Irish have remained with their most recent adjustments to lineups. For doubles, the Irish have the pairing of junior Page Freeman and freshman Maria Olivia Castedo in the No. 1 spot, with sophomores Julia Andreach and Yashna Yellayi in the second and freshmen Nibedita Ghosh and Carrie Beckman in No. 3 doubles. Ranked at No. 20, the pairing of Freeman and Castedo are the only duo to be ranked for Notre Dame.
“Regardless of what happens we’re gonna reset and fire it up again for singles,” Silverio said. “Every matchup is important and everyone out there between the lines and not in between the lines understands the opportunity, and we need to be all in in every single match.”
The singles matches will see Irish stars Freeman and Andreach in No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively. Freeman and Andreach are the only singles players ranked for the Irish, coming in at No. 87 and 105. In early March, Freeman was named ACC Player of the Week after two wins against top 20 players. On April 12, Andreach was also named ACC Player of the Week after a 2-0 in singles and a 1-0 in doubles. In the match against Miami, Andreach beat No. 28 Daevenia Achong.
“Page and Julia have both made great strides this season and it is not easy lifting. They’re in the top spots in the ACC, you’re in a battle in every single match no matter what, no matter who the opponent we are playing,” Silverio said on the two players. “They’ve come in consistently with the right mindset and the right attitude and the right energy. Again, just very much controlling the pieces that they have control over and even on their tougher days, or days where they’re battling more challenges or adversities, they’ve been willing to work through those with great mental fortitude and bite. I think that’s been a big piece of why they continue to develop and the maturity they are seeing on the court and tomorrow will certainly be no different.”
Freeman and Andreach are followed by Yellayi, Beckman, Ghosh and Castedo, all of whom will have to play their best tennis if they want to beat the Seminoles. Despite not having the same titles, each member of the Irish squad is talented and prepared to beat FSU.
“We are definitely battle tested for sure. The ACC is the toughest conference in the country and we know we’re going to a war every time we take the courts against an ACC opponent. Whether it be UNC who’s No. 1 in the country, or one of the teams who aren’t quite as highly ranked,” Silverio said. “It’s a talented group of young women all across the board and of coaches. We’ve been tested and we understand the adjustments we need to make and how to problem solve when we’re out on the court. That takes maturity, and there’s been a lot of maturity and growth in this season. We’re excited and we can’t wait to get out there and we’re looking forward to another battle and opportunity to sprint through that finish line.”
The Irish head down to Rome, Georgia, to face the Seminoles Thursday at 3:30 p.m. The winner of the match will go on to face No. 1 seed UNC on Friday afternoon.