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ND Women’s Tennis

ND to battle ACC rival Hurricanes

| Friday, April 10, 2015

Notre Dame returns to Courtney Tennis Center today for its penultimate home match of the season, welcoming No. 17 Miami for an ACC contest.

The Irish (14-6, 8-3 ACC) are coming off two road wins this past weekend. First, they swept Wake Forest in a 7-0 victory on Friday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and then they followed that performance with a tightly-contested 4-3 win at Virginia Tech on Sunday.

Irish junior Julie Vrable prepares a back-hand stroke in a 6-1 loss to Stanford on Feb. 6 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish junior Julie Vrabel prepares a back-hand stroke in a 6-1 loss to Stanford on Feb. 6 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Today, however, the Irish return home to battle the Hurricanes (12-5, 8-2). The match is currently scheduled to be played outdoors at Courtney Tennis Center, which would make it the first outdoor home match for the Irish on the season. Their previous matches have been played indoors at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Entering today’s match, the Irish have won five of their last six ACC matches and six of their last seven overall. By comparison, the Hurricanes have lost two of their last three. Despite the differing momentums entering the game, Irish head coach Jay Louderback said he recognizes the match will be a difficult one for his team.

“They’re very, very good,” Louderback said. “They’ve done well in the conference and nationally, too, especially during the indoor season.”

In order to come away from the match with a victory, Louderback said there are two points of emphasis for his team. First, he said the Irish must be sure to play within themselves.

“For us, the biggest thing we have to do is not worry about what they’re ranked and just go out there and play,” Louderback said. “That’s something that I think we’ve done a good job of this season and just need to continue to do going forward.”

In addition to staying focused, Louderback said the doubles point will be a key point in the match.

Irish sophomore Monica Robinson readies a forehand shot against Stanford in a 6-1 loss on Feb. 6 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Robinson lost in three sets to Cardinal  freshman Taylor Davidson.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish sophomore Monica Robinson readies a forehand shot against Stanford in a 6-1 loss on Feb. 6 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Robinson lost in three sets to Cardinal freshman Taylor Davidson.

“Our best shot at them is if we can go out there and get the doubles point to put some pressure on them in the singles,” Louderback said. “That would be really big for us.”

Following this matchup, the Irish will only have two matches remaining next weekend before the ACC championship in Cary, North Carolina, on April 22-26. Louderback said he believes his team is prepared for postseason play, given the level they have been playing at all year.

“Our big thing is to keep playing like we have been,” Louderback said. “We’ve done a really good job of competing, and that’s what we want to do. Every match we’ve played, our kids have continued to fight, and that’s been the reason we’ve seen people step up at different times and when we’ve needed it.”

While he does not believe this matchup serves as a measure for where the team stands going into the postseason, Louderback said he does believe it will be a great opportunity for his team to continue to prepare for the postseason.

“We’ve shown that we can be competitive with everyone and have had tight matches with some of the best teams in the country,” Louderback said. “It’s a really good opportunity for us to play such a highly-ranked team.”

The Irish will take the court this afternoon against Miami at Courtney Tennis Center, with the match set to start at 3:30 p.m.

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About Benjamin Padanilam

As The Observer's Editor-in-Chief, Ben is a senior in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) who is pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics as well. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

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