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ND Women’s Tennis

Gleason and Robinson travel to Indoor Nationals

| Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Notre Dame wraps up its fall schedule this weekend at the Western Michigan Invitational and USTA/ITA National Indoor Championships.

The majority of the team heads to Kalamazoo, Mich. for the Western Michigan invitational, while 28th-ranked doubles team consisting of junior Quinn Gleason and sophomore Monica Robinson will travel to New York for the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships at the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Center.

Irish sophomore Monica Robinson reacts after a shot during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over Indiana on Feb. 2 at Eck Tennis Center.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish sophomore Monica Robinson reacts after a shot during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win over Indiana on Feb. 2 at Eck Tennis Center.

Coach Jay Louderback said the fall season’s goal will be to find what the Irish have for the spring season, especially when it comes to doubles.

“We’re still looking at some different doubles teams and it’s our last tournament of the fall so we’ve got a couple new teams we are going to look at,” Louderback said. “It’s also just the last chance our kids will have before January to play matches. We use the fall to get a look at what our lineup is going to be in the spring so it’s their last chance to have a chance to play and really show how well they are playing.”

The Irish are coming off a strong showing in the Midwest Regionals, where five players advanced in their first round singles matches and two doubles teams made the semi-finals. Robinson’s performance especially stood out, as she reached the semi-finals in singles, while she and Gleason lost the doubles championship match by a single point.

Overall, Louderback said he saw a lot of positives at the regional and throughout the entire fall.

“I think the fall, especially our last tournament, was really good for us,” Louderback said. “At our regional we played really well. We had two doubles teams in the semi-finals, which was really good. I felt like in singles we had two or three matches that we lost in tight matches, but they were ones where we had player playing other team’s top players and we were in the match with them. It has been a strong fall and if we can come out with another this next weekend it’s going to help in the spring with our kids’ confidence.”

In addition to building confidence, Louderback said he will be watching how the team’s two freshmen play. Brooke Broda has yet to see any playing time this fall due to injuries, while Allison Miller has been playing through a wrist injury. Louderback said he has seen good things from both in practice and hopes it carries over into matches.

“Broda has not played yet, but I think we are going to get her in the doubles this weekend,” Louderback said. “Miller has played where she has to hit a one-handed backhand, but even with that she has had a great fall. I’ve been really impressed with her. Her work ethic is amazing and the way she’s handled herself as a freshman on the court has been great.”

As the freshman look to play their way into the line-up, Louderback said he feels good about Gleason and Robinson as his top players. Both played in the All-American Invitational earlier this fall, and Louderback said he hopes their experience both there and in New York this weekend will help them grow as players and leaders of the team.

Irish junior Quinn Gleason tracks the ball during Notre Dame’s 4-3 victory over Indiana on Feb. 2 at Eck Tennis Center. Gleason won her singles match but lost her doubles competition against the Hoosiers.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish junior Quinn Gleason tracks the ball during Notre Dame’s 4-3 victory over Indiana on Feb. 2 at Eck Tennis Center. Gleason won her singles match but lost her doubles competition against the Hoosiers.

“They’ve had a good fall,” Louderback said. “They’re a good doubles team, and Monica has made a huge jump. She was not even in our doubles lineup half the time last year and I think her not being in the lineup really motivated her to work on some things that has really helped her doubles. Quinn was very good last year and they complement each other well. They work hard at it and we’re hoping they have a good indoor. I feel good about them being able to play at the top of our lineup.”

The ITA/USTA National Indoor Collegiate Championships begins Thursday. The Notre Dame pair will open with a match against senior Linda Fritschken and junior Emma Olina of Barry University.

The Western Michigan Invitational begins play on Friday and will continue through Saturday and Sunday.

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About Josh Dulany

Originally from Texas, I grew up overseas and attended high school in Ethiopia. I have always followed sports intently and enjoy watching and playing practically any sport. I am double majoring in Marketing and FTT.

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