Sept. 19, 2011
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame women's tennis team and head coach Jay Louderback has announced the 2011-12 schedule. A trip to the Indiana Invitational from Sept. 23-25 in Bloomington, Ind., gets action underway for the Irish, who return a majority of their roster from their NCAA second round team of 2010-11.
"Our schedule is going to be a tough one this year," said Louderback. "But it will give us the opportunity to play many top-25 teams. We also have the advantage of playing most of them at home. As a team, we are also a more experienced group than we were a year ago, so our student-athletes should be able to handle this type of schedule."
As the month of October commences, so too do tournament draws for the All-American Championship (Oct. 4-9) and Midwest Regional Championship (Oct. 20-25). Similar to the '10-11 slate, both Kristy Frilling (Sidney, Ohio) and Shannon Mathews (Birmingham, Mich.), the two seniors on this year's roster, will head to Pacific Palisades, Calif., for the All-American Championships to compete in both the singles and doubles draw. Frilling earned entrance into the main singles draw at this year's event, while Mathews must play through a qualifying draw for a spot of her own. The duo also qualified for the main draw of the doubles portion of the tournament due to their past successes.
Two weeks later, Frilling, Mathews and the remainder of the Irish roster head to Columbus, Ohio, and the Midwest Regional hoping to earn individual bids to the National Individual Indoor Championships, which will take place in New York, N.Y. from Nov. 3-6. Meanwhile, the members of the Irish roster who do not qualify will return home for the team's lone home event of the fall docket, the Eck Classic, which will take place Nov. 4-6 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
One final stop remains on the fall slate at the Lakewood Ranch Invitational (Nov. 11-13) at the Lakewood Ranch Country Club in Lakewood Ranch, Fla. The tournament gives the Irish a rare chance to compete on a clay-court surface as opposed to the traditional hard courts.
The month of January welcomes in the beginning of dual matches for Notre Dame with a trio of home stints against Cincinnati (Jan. 21) and a doubleheader against Missouri and IPFW (Jan. 22).
The Irish then head north to Ann Arbor to compete in the ITA Team Indoor Qualifier. A match against Yale (Jan. 28) opens the draw for Notre Dame before a showdown with either Michigan or Maryland awaits the following day.
The longest road trip of the season continues as February comes around. A pair of stints in the Volunteer State sees the Irish take on Tennessee (Feb. 3) before heading west to the Music City for a showdown with Vanderbilt (Feb. 5). The National Team Indoor Championship then awaits those teams that qualified out of their regionals. The tournament runs Feb. 10-13 in Charlottesville, Va.
With the longest road jaunt behind them, the Irish return to some home cooking for the remainder of February and the beginning of March. The six-match home stand welcomes the likes of North Carolina (Feb. 18), Illinois (Feb. 19), Indiana (Feb. 24), Georgia Tech (Feb. 26), Iowa (March 2) and Duke (March 3) to the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Spring break provides the Irish with a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they will take part in a three-match event against Texas Tech (March 12), Hawaii (March 14) and SMU (March 15) before heading back to Ann Arbor for what could be a rematch with the Wolverines (March 21).
Home matches against conference foes Marquette (March 25) and DePaul (March 31) close out the month before opening April with a showdown against rival Northwestern (April 4). The remainder of the dual season sees Notre Dame hit the road for a pair of battles in the Lonestar State against Baylor and Texas A&M on April 7 and 9, respectively, before returning to Notre Dame for the final regular season home match of the year against South Florida (April 13). A road clash against Louisville draws the regular season to a close for the Irish on April 15.
Postseason action commences April 19-22 when the BIG EAST Championships kick off at the USF Courts in Tampa, Fla., before NCAA first and second round draws begin at selected campus host sites (May 11-12). The 2011-12 NCAA Championships will get underway May 17-28 in Athens, Ga., at the University of Georgia tennis center.