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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish set to start ACC tournament against Panthers

| Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Notre Dame will travel to Cary, North Carolina, this week to play in the ACC tournament at the Cary Tennis Center. The Irish will be the No. 11 seed in the tournament and will take on No. 14-seeded Pittsburgh at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the first round.

“We will only have one practice before our first conference match on Wednesday,” Irish head coach Jay Louderback said. “We play a very tough Pitt team we beat 4-3 early in the season.”

That match between the Irish (12-12, 5-9) and the Panthers (7-13, 1-13) took place Feb. 12 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. In that match, the Irish were lifted to singles wins by senior Quinn Gleason, juniors Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly, and sophomore Allison Miller. Junior Monica Robinson and senior Julie Vrabel were bested in their matches. In the doubles competition, Closs and Vrabel won their match, while the teams of Gleason/Robinson and Fennelly/Miller both lost to give the point to the Panthers.

The Panthers’ lone conference win of the season in 14 tries came against Louisville on Feb. 19, while the Irish enter the tournament after winning two of their final three regular season matches.

On Friday, Notre Dame defeated Virginia Tech on Senior Day at the Courtney Tennis Center. The Irish were propelled to victory by singles wins by sophomore Brooke Broda, Robinson and Gleason and by doubles wins from Gleason/Robinson and Vrabel/Closs.

Irish sophomore Brooke Broda connects on a backhand during Notre Dame's 6-1 win over Indiana on Feb. 20 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer

Irish sophomore Brooke Broda connects on a backhand during Notre Dame’s 6-1 win over Indiana on Feb. 20 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

During the loss at Virginia on Sunday, Broda won her match 6-2, 6-4 on court No. 5. Miller emerged victorious on court No. 3 7-5, 6-4. Gleason, Closs, Fennelly and Robinson did not have the same success as their other teammates, however. On court No. 1, Gleason was bested 6-1, 6-3. Closs lost her match in straight sets 6-2, 7-5 on court No. 4, while Fennelly was met with the same fate on court No. 6, losing 7-5, 6-3. Robinson was bested 6-1, 6-2 on court No. 2.

In the doubles competition, Broda/Miller were winning 5-4 on court No. 3 when the match was discontinued. The teams of Gleason/Robinson and Closs/Vrabel were both bested by scores of 6-3 on courts No. 1 and 2, respectively.

Later on Sunday afternoon, the Irish closed out the regular season by shutting down Norfolk State from start to finish. Broda and Fennelly shut out their opponents 6-0, 6-0 on courts No. 4 and 5, respectively. Closs swept her opponent 6-1, 6-1 on court No. 3. On court No. 1, Gleason won 6-1, 6-0, followed by a 6-2, 6-1 victory by Miller on court No. 2. Freshman Rachel Chong emerged victorious on court No. 6, 6-2, 6-2.

In the doubles competition, the doubles team of Gleason/Fennelly won, 6-2, on court No. 1, followed by Broda/Miller emerging victorious, 6-2, on court No. 2. Vrabel/Chong finished off the team sweep by winning, 6-4, on court No. 3.

Louderback believes the close matches his team has been involved in this season will be beneficial to helping his team have the right competitive mindset.

“I am really excited about how are doubles teams are playing,” Louderback said. “We have been in multiple tight 4-3 matches, which will help us in the post season.”

The winner of Wednesday’s match between Notre Dame and Pittsburgh will face off against No. 6-seeded Clemson at 10 a.m. on Thursday. The tournament will conclude Sunday at 10 a.m.

The tournament will get underway for Notre Dame on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in Cary, North Carolina.

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