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ND Women’s Tennis: Team ready for Purdue after 11-day respite

Katie Heit | Friday, February 15, 2013

After two close victories decided in the final point, the Irish are confident their 11-day rest has prepared them to dominate Purdue on Friday at 4 pm. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame, who is 15-0 over the Boilermakers at home.

The Irish have won eight of the last ten matches against Purdue, but are not taking the game today lightly. 

Senior captain Chrissie McGaffigan said the break in play has given the Irish time to practice the weakest part of their game-doubles. Notre Dame has lost the doubles point in their last two matchups, putting them at an immediate disadvantage going into singles competition.  

“The doubles point is huge,” McGaffigan said. “When you come into singles already down, it’s hard to gain back the momentum. It’s huge getting that point. We’ve been working all week on the doubles game in practice so we’ll be ready for Purdue.” 

McGaffigan said while the close matches are stressful, they are also a learning experience for the team. 

“I think getting the close matches builds our confidence,” McGaffigan said. 

McGaffigan is one of two members of the Irish still undefeated in singles. She and sophomore Molly O’Koniewski are both 5-0 in singles, with one unfinished match apiece at No. 4 and No. 6 singles respectively. Freshman Quinn Gleason is right behind the upperclassmen with a 5-1 record. 

Though the Irish have won every matchup against Purdue at home, McGaffigan said the Boilermakers should prove to be tough competition. 

“Purdue is always a talented team,” McGaffigan said. “They’re pretty highly ranked going into this match.” 

McGaffigan said no matter whom they play, the Irish always come out with a winning mindset. 

“We don’t care who we are playing,” McGaffigan said. “We go into every match wanting to win and knowing we always have a tough match ahead of us.”

On Sunday, the Irish face another challenge at No. 10 Northwestern. The Irish were elminated from the NCAA Championships by the Wildcats last May. This will be the 40th meeting in program history and the Wildcats lead the series 28-11.

The Irish will be back in action against the Boilermakers today at 4 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. They will then travel to Evanston, Ill. to take on the No. 10 Wildcats. 

Contact Katie Heit at kheit@nd.edu