March 23, 2011
ATLANTA – The 20th ranked Georgia Tech women’s tennis team will close out the non-conference portion of the 2011 schedule with an afternoon matinee against the 19th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish at 3 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Bill Moore Tennis Center on the Georgia Tech campus.
“Everyone on our schedule is fairly similar in level of play, they’re all quality opponents,” head coach Bryan Shelton said. “We have to be ready to go and have a great attitude from the start. In both doubles and singles, we need to be tough, physically and mentally, from start to finish.
“We’ve been playing well lately, but we’ve had too many unforced errors,” Shelton added. “When we’re playing the quality of teams that we’re playing, those errors make it extremely difficult to win. I feel good about our win over Vanderbilt and the things we did and now we just need to carry that with us into tomorrow’s match against Notre Dame.”
The Yellow Jackets will enter the match with a 7-5 overall record after earning a tough 4-3 win at No. 16 Vanderbilt on Saturday, March 19, but the Jackets haven’t won consecutive outings this year since winning their first three matches of the year over #9 Northwestern, 5-2 Jan. 23, #30 Iowa, 5-2 Jan. 29 and #28 USF, 4-2 Jan. 30.
“It takes playing well and winning several matches in a row to build rhythm and confidence,” Shelton said. “It’s the same way for individuals. We’re in the second half of the season now and we need to build momentum as we head towards postseason. I told our team `the team that advances the farthest in postseason isn’t always the best team, but the hottest team’ so we have to work on becoming both the best we can be and becoming the hottest team.”
Notre Dame, which features five freshmen, a sophomore and only three upperclassmen, began the year ranked No. 4, but has been equally up-and-down in 2011. The Irish had lost three straight matches, to Baylor, 4-3, at the same USF squad Tech beat and were swept 7-0 against Duke, before defeating No. 18 Tennessee 5-2.
Notre Dame and Georgia Tech have each faced three common opponents so far this season: Michigan, USF and Vanderbilt. The Irish have posted an 0-3 mark while the Yellow Jackets have gone 2-1 against the same three.
The Yellow Jackets are 4-1 all-time against the Irish, but last season seventh ranked Notre Dame claimed its first win over 14th ranked Tech, 4-3, in South Bend. Tech won the top three singles matches, but it wasn’t enough to overcome losing the doubles point. Sasha Krupina and Viet Ha Ngo each won their singles matches last year against Notre Dame.
Live stats will be available through RamblinWreck.com and fans can follow Tech tennis on Twitter, @GT_WTEN, for instant updates.
— RamblinWreck.com —