"All-American is our biggest tournament of the fall, and is a tournament that sets us up for NCAA individually next year" said senior Mary Clayton. "This is a tournament that we have been working hard towards, so we are going in knowing that this is a big tournament for us and this is our time to really play and be confident and make sure that our hard work pays off."
The Blue Devils currently have seven members of the team listed in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association's preseason rankings of the top 125 singles players in the nation, headlined by sophomore Beatrice Capra who was tabbed No. 2 overall on the list. The Blue Devils lead the country in number of players ranked in the preseason poll, followed by UCLA who has five.
The tournament is slated to begin with pre-qualifying Sept. 29-30, followed by qualifying Oct. 2-3. The main draw for the event will be Oct. 4-7. Players are seeded based on their national rankings, and in order to advance from pre-qualifying to the qualifying, athletes must win three rounds. Players competing in the qualifying must also win three rounds to advance to the main draw.
Annie Mulholland, a sophomore from Portland, Ore., will kick off the week for the Blue Devils in pre-qualifying Sept. 29-30. After going 2-2 in singles play at the Fab Four Invitational, Mulholland is set to face Caryssa Peretz from Virginia in the first round of pre-qualifying, while Clayton, juniors Marianne Jodoin and Hanna Mar and sophomore Ester Goldfeld are already slated to compete in the qualifying draw starting Oct. 2-3.
In doubles action, the duo of Capra and Mar have earned a seed in the main draw, while the team of Clayton and Jodoin are set to compete in qualifying starting Oct. 2. In addition, the tandem of Goldfeld and Mulholland will compete in qualifying after going 2-1 in the Fab Four Invitational and advancing to the finals of their bracket.
Head Coach Jamie Ashworth believes this tournament is a great opportunity for his team to compete against teams that they might not otherwise see.
"It gives us a chance to see what other teams have, and it gives our players a chance to see players from other schools," Ashworth said. "We are obviously looking for good results, but we are just looking to get better every week. We are just trying to get better, so when we play team matches in January we are ready to go and have that confidence that this team has had in the past, and the confidence that they will need to accomplish the goals that they will have come the spring."