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ND Women’s Tennis

Notre Dame readies for Purdue

| Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Notre Dame takes on non-conference opponent Purdue on Wednesday.

The Irish (4-3, 1-0) visit Purdue at the Schwartz Tennis Center in West Lafayette, Indiana.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback said he believes the Boilermakers’ experience will play an important factor for the Irish during the match.

“Purdue is a very veteran team and one that is tough at home, so we know we will have to play well and be very patient,” Louderback said.

The Boilermakers (7-5, 0-0) face the Irish after a busy doubleheader-weekend. They defeated DePaul, 5-2, before falling to Tulsa, 4-0, on Sunday. Before Sunday’s win, the Boilermakers suffered three straight losses on-the-road against. They fell to Kansas and Arkansas in a doubleheader Jan. 30-31 and No. 25 Ole Miss, before beating Memphis, 6-1, on Feb. 7. Overall, Purdue has faced five ranked opponents so far this season, recording a 1-4 record in those contests.

Leading up to Purdue, the Irish lost, 5-2, on-the-road to No. 8 Michigan on Sunday. Juniors Jane Fennelly and Monica Robinson notched the only singles wins for the Irish. Fennelly battled against Michigan sophomore Alex Najarian in a 10-point set tiebreaker, ultimately handing Notre Dame its first point with a 6-3, 5-7, 10-3 victory. Robinson also played to three sets. She beat freshman Brienne Minor 7-5, 1-6, 6-4 to secure the Irish their second and final point of the day.

Fellow junior Mary Closs (6-2, 7-6(3)), sophomore Allison Miller (6-2, 6-1) and seniors Julie Vrabel (6-2, 6-3) and Quinn Gleason (6-1, 7-6(3)) all fell in their singles matches.

Irish junior Mary Closs positions herself for a backhand during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Western Michigan on Jan. 19 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Closs is 8-7 in singles play this season, as well as 2-2 in doubles play with her primary doubles partner, senior Julie Vrabel.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish junior Mary Closs positions herself for a backhand during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Western Michigan on Jan. 19 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Closs is 8-7 in singles play this season, as well as 2-2 in doubles play with her primary doubles partner, senior Julie Vrabel.

Despite the loss that ended Notre Dame’s three-match winning streak, Louderback said he was very pleased with the way his team performed Sunday and feels the loss will motivate his team to do better.

“I felt like we played a very good match against Michigan and were in position to have a chance to win the match,” Louderback said. “Losing a close match like that makes us ready to get back on the court as soon as possible.”

And the Irish are ready to do just that, starting with their doubles play. Even though he believes the doubles teams are gradually improving, Louderback said that his team is working on getting more overall production during the doubles matches.

“We are going to continue to work on our doubles,” Louderback said. “Our doubles teams are playing better but we need to start getting some doubles points.”

Thirsty for more points, the Irish head to West Lafayette, Indiana, for an non-conference contest against Purdue on Wednesday. The match will take place at the Schwartz Tennis Center and is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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