Feb. 2, 2012
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -
The University of Notre Dame women's tennis team, now ranked 24th in the most recent Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) polls, heads south for a pair of matchups in the Volunteer State against Tennessee on Friday and Vanderbilt on Sunday. The matchup against the Volunteers is set for 4:00 p.m. (ET) in Knoxville, Tenn., at the Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center with the contest against the Commodores set for noon (ET) in Nashville, Tenn., at the Dills Indoor Tennis Courts.
The Irish (4-1) enter the weekend off of a split in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the ITA Kickoff Weekend that saw the team fall 4-3 to Yale on Saturday (Jan. 28) before posting a 7-0 shutout over Maryland on Sunday (Jan. 29). With no new singles and doubles rankings due out until Feb. 14, the doubles pairings of Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.) as well as Britney Sanders (Ontario, Calif.) and Katherine White (Columbus, Ga.) remain ranked fifth and 25th, respectively, in the doubles polls.
Tennessee (2-2) enters Friday's contest ranked 17th in the nation and rides a two-match winning streak that earned the team qualification into the ITA National Team Indoor Championship. After dropping their first two matchups of the dual season to Virginia and North Carolina by scores of 4-3 and 5-2, respectively, the Volunteers rebounded with perfect showings against UC Davis (5-0) and Tulsa (4-0) at the ITA Kickoff Weekend.
This will mark the 24th all-time meeting between Notre Dame and Tennessee with the Volunteers holding a 13-10 advantage. The Irish, however, enter the contest currently holding a six-match winning streak against Tennessee including a 5-2 victory last season in Tampa, Fla.
Natalie Pluskota leads the charge for Tennessee in singles action, entering play as the 24th-ranked player nationally. Brynn Boren (27th) and Kata Szekely (59th) join her in the polls. Pluskota and Szekely pace the Volunteers in doubles action as the ninth-best team nationally, while Boren and Sarah Toti check in at 18th.
Vanderbilt enters the weekend holding a record of 6-2 on the season and ranked 18th nationally. The Commodores, much like the Irish, split a pair of matchups this past weekend, defeating Arizona 4-3 before falling to Texas 4-1 in the championship match of the ITA Kickoff Weekend held in Nashville.
Notre Dame and Vanderbilt have met a total of 12 times, including continuously since the '05 season. The Commodores hold an 8-4 advantage in the series, while the Irish have claimed two of the last three contests. Last season, 18th-ranked Vanderbilt held on for a 4-3 triumph over 13th-ranked Notre Dame.
Three ranked individuals in singles as well as three ranked doubles pairings lead the Commodores into the weekend. Jackie Wu (23rd), Lauren Mira (69th) and Marie Casares (110th) pace singles play, while Wu and Mira (14th), Ashleigh Antal and Chelsea Preeg (30th) and Antal and Casares (49th) rank nationally in doubles action.
For live streaming video of Friday's matchup against Tennessee please click this link or for live stats, please visit here . Sunday's matchup against Vanderbilt can be followed through live stats via vucommodores.com . Check back with UND.com for complete recaps of each match as the Irish look to notch a pair of wins against top-25 opposition.