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ND Women’s Tennis

Notre Dame dominates in doubleheader to begin spring slate

| Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Notre Dame started its spring schedule with a bang, recording back-to-back 7-0 wins, first over Western Michigan and then against Wright State. Both matches took place Sunday at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The two matches were the first time the Irish have been in action since November.

Irish senior Monica Robinson follows through on a serve during Notre Dame’s 6-1 victory over Indiana on Feb. 20 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer

Irish senior Monica Robinson follows through on a serve during Notre Dame’s 6-1 victory over Indiana on Feb. 20 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

In the first match of the day against Western Michigan, the Irish enjoyed singles wins from senior Monica Robinson, junior Allison Miller, junior Brooke Broda, freshman Zoe Spence and freshman Bess Waldram. All five won their matches in straight sets. Sophomore Rachel Chong dropped the first set of her singles match, 7-5, before storming back to win the last two sets, 6-3, 10-8.

In doubles action, the Irish won all three matches behind their doubles teams of senior Mary Closs and Miller, senior Jane Fennelly and Waldram, and Broda and Robinson.

In the second match against Wright State, Robinson won her singles match, 6-0, 6-0. Miller followed that up with a 6-2, 6-0 singles victory of her own while Waldram won 6-2, 6-3. Fennelly posted a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Individual victories by Spence (6-4, 6-0) and Closs (6-4, 6-1) rounded out the singles play.

In doubles play, the doubles pair of Closs and Miller won their match, 6-3, while the duo of Chong and Spence emerged victorious, 6-0. The doubles pair of Broda and Robinson suffered the only Irish defeat on the day, dropping a nail biter 7-6(5).

Irish head coach Jay Louderback was pleased with what he saw from his team.

“I felt we played really well,” Louderback said. “We started off playing well in the doubles competition of both matches, which I thought was key for us. To start with two matches on our first day, we got to get a lot of our kids into play and they played quite a bit. That was something we were really looking for.”

Louderback was also satisfied with the way the two freshmen on the team performed.

“Our two freshman, Zoe Spence and Bess Waldram, got in and played three matches,” Louderback said. “They each played two singles and one doubles match, and they went undefeated. So I thought that was good for them to be able to get the first match out of the way. Usually freshman have a bit of nerves for their first match and not only did they get that out of the way, they got three wins each, which was good.”

Louderback said his team will continue to work on their singles performance.

“We’ve been working hard on our doubles play and I’ve felt like the combinations we’ve been using have been really good,” Louderback said. “I would say we need to work a little more on our singles. Since it’s the beginning of the year and we are indoors, we want to really stay aggressive. Trying to come out to the net a little more is something that we’ve been working on.”

The Irish will be back in action Sunday when they travel to take on ACC foe University of Pittsburgh.

“Pitt is a tough team to play, especially at their place and indoors, because they hit the ball really hard,” Louderback said. “That is something we have to get our kids ready for and get used to playing against a team that hits the ball as hard as they do.”

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