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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish face Wolverines looking for redemption

| Thursday, February 13, 2014

After a near two-week break between matches, the No. 22 Irish will take to the road Saturday to face one of their oldest rivals: the Michigan Wolverines.

Irish senior Britney Sanders returns a volley during Notre Dame’s 4-3 victory over Indiana on Feb. 2 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Emmet Farnan

Irish senior Britney Sanders returns a volley during Notre Dame’s 4-3 victory over Indiana on Feb. 2 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The No. 13 Wolverines (4-2) are coming off of a 1-2 weekend at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships where they lost to Clemson and the eventual tournament champion Duke before defeating Miami (Fl.) in a consolation match. The Wolverines currently hold a four-game winning streak over the Irish.

The last time the Irish (5-1) played, they knocked off No. 39 Indiana at South Bend by a score of 4-3. During the course of the day, five of the six singles matches came down to tiebreaker sets. The critical match of the day was the No. 2 singles match, where sophomore Quinn Gleason squared off against junior Carolyn Chupa. After falling behind 7-1 in the tiebreak set, Gleason roared back to edge out Chupa by a score of 12-10. The final tally for the match went 5-7, 6-3, (12-10) in favor of Gleason.

The Irish will have their work cut out for them in singles matches against Michigan, as Wolverine junior Emina Bektas was named the Big Ten Athlete of the Week for the second week in a row and for the eighth time of her career. Bektas posted a 3-0 record in singles play during the ITA National Team Indoor Championships, including a victory over then-No. 3 Beatrice Capra of Duke by a score of 6-2, 7-6. The Wolverines also got a strong showing out of sophomore Ronit Yurovsky, who made her dual match debut over the course of the tournament and went 2-0 in singles play.

The Irish also boast strong play in singles competition, with Gleason, freshman Monica Robinson and senior Britney Sanders each nationally ranked in singles play at No. 99, No. 105 and No. 119, respectively. Elsewhere, the Irish doubles team of Gleason and Sanders is ranked No. 27 in the nation, and the team of Robinson and senior Jennifer Kellner clocks in at No. 41.

The last time the Irish faced off against the Wolverines was during last year’s NCAA tournament, when the Wolverines shut out the Irish 4-0 during the second round of the tournament. Earlier that season, Michigan defeated Notre Dame at the Eck Tennis Pavilion by a score of 5-2. The Irish own the overall series matchup by a score of 22-13, though they have not defeated the Wolverines since the spring season of 2010.

The Irish travel to Ann Arbor to take on the Wolverines on Saturday. The match is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.

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