ND Women’s Tennis
Duke delivers 3rd ACC loss
Josh Dulany | Monday, March 3, 2014
No. 25 Notre Dame is still looking for its first win in ACC play after falling to No. 1 Duke on Friday, 6-1. The defeat is Notre Dame’s fourth in as many matches.
The Irish (5-5, 0-3 ACC) could not capture the point in the doubles portion of the competition. Irish senior Britney Sanders and sophomore Quinn Gleason earned a win over Duke’s top duo of senior Hanna Mar and sophomore Beatrice Capra, 8-4, but the other two doubles matches went the Blue Devils’ way. Notre Dame’s pairing of senior Jennifer Kellner and junior Katherine White fell by the score of 8-4, and, after losing an early lead, Notre Dame’s freshman tandem of Jane Fennelly and Monica Robinson dropped the decisive matchup, 8-6.Even after dropping a close doubles point, Irish coach Jay Louderback said the Irish doubles teams performed well.
“We had a great win at number one doubles and I thought we played really well,” Louderback said. “Especially the two freshmen, I thought they played great. They don’t miss a lot of balls and just fought hard.”
Robinson and Fennelly made their debut as a pairing against the Blue Devils (11-1, 3-1).
“We had never played together before and it just brought a fresh perspective,” Robinson said. “It put some energy on the court.”
Duke followed up the win in doubles competition by taking five out of six singles matches. Gleason provided the only point of the night for the Irish as she knocked off Goldfeld decisively in the second singles match, 6-0, 6-4. The win snaps a three-match losing streak for the sophomore.
Despite the defeat, Louderback said he was impressed with his team’s effort and improvement.
“I thought we played much better than we had the last couple of weeks,” Louderback said. “We were getting a lot more balls in play and just playing longer points. That was something we worked on all week and was good to see.”
After beginning the season with five wins in their first six matches, the Irish are in the midst of a winless streak that has sent them toward the bottom of the ACC in their first year in the conference. With 11 ACC matches remaining and more than six weeks remaining in the regular season, the Irish will aim to use their recent matches as learning experiences, Robinson said.
“I think it was a good assessment of where we are,” she said. “We are right there with the top teams and we have to focus on taking this start and learning from it. I think we’ll get it and just be able to ride that wave, which will be nice.”
This week, the Irish will continue with conference play against Clemson on Friday and Florida State on Sunday. Both matches will be at Notre Dame’s Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Contact Josh Dulany at firstname.lastname@example.org