Pitt tennis falls to Notre Dame in ACC Tournament


Senior Amber Washington lost 6-4 in her double’s match with junior Callie Frey on Wednesday. Courtesy of Pitt Athletics

After a winless regular season in the ACC, the Pitt women’s tennis team was knocked out of the conference tournament and concluded its season with a first-round loss to Notre Dame.

The No.15 Panthers (3-16, 0-14 ACC) simply couldn’t keep up with the No. 10 Fighting Irish (17-8, 7-6 ACC) on Wednesday in Rome, Georgia. Notre Dame took every match of the day, claiming a 4-0 victory.

“We battled today and we played a competitive match,” head coach Alex Santos said in a press release. “It comes down to details and to fight in the most adverse situations of the match and that is something that Notre Dame did better than us.”

The Fighting Irish came out strong, immediately grabbing a lead in the doubles portion of the match.

Redshirt senior Amber Washington and junior Callie Frey fell 6-4 while senior Audrey Ann Blakely and sophomore Clara Lucas fell 6-3. As a result of the two Irish wins, the third doubles match was cut short as the best-of-three series was decided.

Down 1-0, the Panthers put up a little more fight in the singles portion of the match, but the Fighting Irish didn’t break.

Both Washington and Frey split their opening two sets and looked to steal a victory in the third and final set. Sophomore Gabriela Rezende pushed Notre Dame junior Allison Miller in the first set, but Miller was able to fight off the attack, taking the set 7-6.

Before any of the three matches could finish, the Fighting Irish had clinched the overall competition by winning three straight-set contests. Blakely, Lucas and first-year Jovana Knezevic all lost in convincing fashion, giving Notre Dame the win.  

Because of this, each of the three ongoing matches ended without a winner.  

This competition was similar to many other matches the Panthers faced this season. They often put up a fight in a few contests while being handily beaten throughout the rest of the competition. This formula never gave them a chance to win in the ACC.

Looking forward to next season, the Panthers will need players to fill the top two singles roles, held this year by Washington and Blakely. But to compete in the ACC, every athlete on the team will need to make serious improvements in both singles and doubles play.