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Re-Match With Notre Dame in Store for ITA Kickoff Weekend

The Yale women's tennis huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)
The Yale women's tennis huddle. (photo by Sam Rubin '95, Yale Sports Publicity)

Bulldog to Play Fighting Irish at Michigan

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The matchups for the 2012 ITA Kickoff Weekend were announced June 9, and for the Yale women's tennis team that means a re-match with Notre Dame. This year's match will take place Jan. 28 at Michigan's Varsity Tennis Center, where the host Wolverines are the No. 1 seed and will play No. 4 seed Maryland in the other tournament match at that site. The Fighting Irish, who were one of just five teams to beat the Bulldogs this past spring, are the No. 2 seed and Yale is the No. 3 seed. The winners of the two Jan. 28 matches play each other on Jan. 29 for a spot in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, and the losers play a consolation match.

The ITA Kickoff Weekend takes place at 15 locations, with four teams at each location. The 15 schools that win both of their matches on Kickoff Weekend will be invited to play in the ITA National Team Indoor Championship, Feb. 10-13, at the Boar's Head Sports Club at the University of Virginia.

Yale is coming off a memorable season that saw the Bulldogs finish No. 31 in the ITA rankings, their best finish in the 27 years of available ITA rankings. In addition to winning a share of the Ivy League championship (Yale's sixth) and their third straight ECAC Indoor Championship, the Bulldogs won an NCAA Tournament match for the first time in school history.

Michigan ended the season ranked No. 10, while Notre Dame was No. 20 and Maryland was No. 34. When Yale played Notre Dame in the 2011 ITA Kickoff Weekend in South Bend, Ind., the Fighting Irish came away with a 7-0 win. The Bulldogs beat Utah 5-2 the next day in the consolation round.

Yale's coaching staff has ties to both the Wolverines and the Fighting Irish. Danielle McNamara, who was named 2011 ITA Northeast Region Co-Head Coach of the Year, was a two-time team captain for Michigan and helped the Wolverines to their first Big 10 championship in 1997. She was the first player in Michigan history to play in all three national championships (All-American, National Indoors, NCAA Championships). Christian Thompson, who was named 2011 ITA Northeast Region Assistant Coach of the Year, was a three-time All-American in doubles for Notre Dame.


2012 ITA Kick-Off Event Schedule
Michigan's Varsity Tennis Center

Saturday, Jan. 28 -- No. 1 seed Michigan vs. No. 4 seed Maryland, 10 a.m.
Saturday, Jan. 28 -- No. 2 seed Notre Dame vs. No. 3 seed Yale, 2 p.m.
Sunday, Jan. 29 -- Consolation Match, 10 a.m.
Sunday, Jan. 29 -- Championship Match, 2 p.m.


Report by Sam Rubin '95 (, Yale Sports Publicity