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ND Women’s Tennis: Squad opens fall season at IU

Katie Heit | Monday, October 1, 2012

With success at every level of play, the Irish put out an impressive first weekend at the Adidas Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind.

Matches began Friday and Notre Dame proved they were ready to play. The Irish racked up five singles victories in the two heats and advanced the doubles team of juniors Britney Sanders and Julie Sabacinski to the semifinals.

Senior Chrissie McGaffigan said the whole team was proud of their success in their first competition of the season.

“We came out really strong,” McGaffigan said. “I felt like we did a good job of feeding off each other’s energy on the court.”

McGaffigan said much of the success the Irish experienced was possible because of the encouraging environment the team provides.

“We have a close team, so it’s nice during the fall individual tournaments when we have our teammates to support and cheer for one another,” McGaffigan said.

Sanders and Sabacinski were two of the most successful players of the weekend. Both reached the championship round in singles in their respective draws. Similarly, sophomore Katherine White reached the finals round. Though originally this would have meant a match against Sabacinski in the third bracket, the draws were reset so Sabacinski and White were able to face opponents from other schools.
As a duo, Sanders and Sabacinski, who were ranked 36th in the ITA preseason rankings, went undefeated, claiming a victory in the doubles bracket.

The other doubles pairs had early success before being placed in consolation games. Freshman Quinn Gleason and sophomore Molly O’Koniewski won their first game as doubles partners against a duo from Kansas State before falling 8-3 in the second round to an Indiana team. In their consolation matches, the pair defeated two teams from Purdue in their final doubles competitions of the tournament.

McGaffigan said she was particularly impressed by the way White and Gleason performed throughout the weekend.

“It was Quinn’s first college tournament and she did a great job of stepping up,” McGaffigan said. “She did a great job of representing the Irish. Katherine had such great reflex volleys this weekend.”

McGaffigan said success this early in the season is an indication of the level of play the Irish will hold themselves to all year.

“I think our performance at IU shows that we are a very talented team and have a lot of potential,” McGaffigan said.

The Irish seek to expand their fall season success at the Midwest Regional Qualifier  in Champaign, Ill., on Oct. 18.

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu