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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish shake up doubles pairings

| Wednesday, March 5, 2014

After a week’s worth of rest, Notre Dame will look to end their slide before break, as they take on Clemson on Friday as well as Florida State on Sunday. The Irish (5-5) are currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak, with their most recent showing a 6-1 loss last Friday against No. 1 ranked Duke.

In an effort to shake things up, head coach Jay Louderback has added some new wrinkles to the Irish game plan, including forming a new doubles team of freshmen Monica Robinson and Jane Fennelly.

Freshman Monica Robinson returns a volley during Notre Dame’s 4-3 loss to Georgia Tech at the Eck  Tennis Center on Feb. 21. Robinson defeated Georgia Tech freshman Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer, 6-2, 6-4.Vicky Jacobsen | The Observer

Freshman Monica Robinson returns a volley during Notre Dame’s 4-3 loss to Georgia Tech at the Eck
Tennis Center on Feb. 21. Robinson defeated Georgia Tech freshman Alexa Anton-Ohlmeyer, 6-2, 6-4.

“We will continue to experiment a little,” Louderback said. “[Robinson and Fennelly] played especially well. Both of them don’t miss a lot of balls.”

Robinson was also receptive to the new configuration of players.

“We had never played [together] before so it brought a fresh perspective and put some energy on the court,” Robinson said. “Coach has emphasized just ‘don’t look back, only look forward.’ So we have got to just focus on taking this start and learning from it. I think we’ll get it and ride that wave of success, which will be nice.”

The Irish first face off against the Tigers (10-3), who are undefeated in ACC play. The toughest competition that the Irish will have to deal with is Clemson sophomore Tristen Dewar, who is currently riding a six-match winning streak, and is currently 9-2 in dual match play this season. Dewar is also part of a strong doubles team with junior Romy Koetlzer, who also put together a strong singles showing during the Tigers’ last competition on Sunday against Wake Forest, breezing through her match by a count of 6-1, 6-1.

After making it through Clemson, the Irish then take on the Seminoles (8-4), who are coming off a 6-1 victory over Boston College this past Sunday. The Seminoles rely on players such as juniors Kerrie Cartwright and Daneika Borthwick, who as a doubles team effortlessly picked up an 8-0 victory against the Demon Deacons. (8-3)

Louderback feels the high level of competition the Irish have faced recently has toughened them up to go against these two teams.

“The teams this weekend, Clemson and FSU, are two teams that don’t play a lot of indoors so that should help us. We’ve played just a tough stretch. Michigan, Georgia Tech, Miami and Duke are all teams that have been in or around the top 10. So, us having played a lot of big matches should be an advantage.”

The Irish resume play on Friday against the Tigers at 4 p.m., followed by a match against the Seminoles on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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