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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish blank Marquette in midweek match

| Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Playing a rare mid-week afternoon game did not slow down the Irish on Wednesday as they blanked the Golden Eagles 7-0.

“We don’t have many week matches anymore,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “All the ACC matches are on the weekend, or Friday/Sunday, but we’ve always played Marquette and wanted to keep them on the schedule.”

Irish junior Quinn Gleason launches a forehand shot against Georgia Tech on Feb. 21. Gleason secured a team point in Wednesday's match. Emmet Farnan

Irish junior Quinn Gleason launches a forehand shot against Georgia Tech on Feb. 21. Gleason secured a team point in Wednesday’s match.

The slight oddity did not affect the No. 24 Irish (9-8), as they were able to get the match off to a good start, winning the doubles point behind the team of senior Brittney Sanders and junior Quinn Gleason and the senior duo of Jennifer Kellner and Julie Sabacinski. Sanders and Gleason took down the Golden Eagles duo of sophomore Laia Hernandez Soler and junior Ali Dawson, 8-3, while Kellner and Sabacinski felled the Marquette pair of junior Ana Pimienta and sophomore Aina Hernandez Soler, 8-4.

“It was tough coming out and playing on a Wednesday,” Kellner said of her match with partner Sabacinski. “We started out pretty close, but after we got the momentum things went our way. We got used to their game style and started to read their patterns. Julie picked up on it really well and was able to execute.”

Louderback afterwards stressed both of those matches could have been much closer than the score indicated.

“One doubles was 8-3, but we had so many tight games,” Louderback said. “We won three or four games where we were down [advantage points] and so even though the doubles looked like we won easily, we didn’t. But we got the point.”

With doubles concluded, it was smooth sailing for the Irish, with none of their six singles players dropping a set. Sophomore Julie Vrabel was the first off the court for Notre Dame, shutting out Aina Hernandez in the first set en route to a 6-0, 6-2 victory. The rest of the Irish followed suit, never letting the Golden Eagles fight their way back into the match. Freshman Mary Closs defeated her opponent 6-4, 6-2, with Gleason clinching the match right after Closs’s victory with a 6-2, 6-2 win of her own.

“One of the biggest things for us was we controlled all of the singles matches and didn’t let them in the match,” Louderback said. “This definitely could have been a really tight match if we let them back in and we didn’t. … I thought we even played better second sets than we did first sets.”

Sanders and freshman Monica Robinson finished off their matches, 6-2, 6-2, and 6-1, 6-2, respectively, within seconds of eachother, while Kellner finished off the sweep with a 6-4, 6-0 win.

“It’s a good confidence boost for everyone, especially since all the girls in the ACC are so tough,” Kellner said.

Louderback noted after the match that it was a good week to have the Wednesday match, as the Irish do not play again until Sunday, when they host No. 46 Wake Forest at 9 a.m. in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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About Zach Klonsinski

A senior History major, Zach resides in Knott Hall. Hailing from Belgrade, Montana, he has covered a wide variety of sports in his time at Notre Dame, including Football, Men's Basketball, Men's Soccer, Women's Tennis, Fencing, Rowing, Women's Lacrosse and other events around campus.

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