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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish look to rebound against Illini

| Thursday, February 9, 2017

This weekend, Notre Dame will compete against Illinois at Varsity Tennis Center in Champaign, Illinois. Coming off a 6-1 loss against No. 13 Michigan, the Irish (3-1, 1-0 ACC) are ready to redeem themselves.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback said the key to his team’s loss stemmed from the slow start to the doubles competition.

“We competed well in the singles but started too slow in the doubles,” Louderback said of last week’s defeat.

Irish junior Allison Miller hits a serve during Notre Dame's 7-0 victory over Western Michigan on Jan. 19, 2016 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Emmet Farnan | The Observer

Irish junior Allison Miller hits a serve during Notre Dame’s 7-0 victory over Western Michigan on Jan. 19, 2016 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Michigan’s doubles lineup featured two ranked pairings, and the Irish fell 6-1 on court No. 1 and 6-2 on court No. 2 to concede the doubles point to the Wolverines (4-0). The lone Irish of the meet point came from freshman Zoe Spence, who defeated her opponent, Wolverines sophomore Chiara Lommer, 7-5, 6-3.

Louderback said the Irish are taking this past weekend’s doubles difficulty as a learning moment, and hope to get off to a fast start Sunday.

“We are working on our doubles this week a little more than we have,” Louderback said. “Illinois is always tough especially at Illinois. Their doubles are very strong so they are able to start up 1-0 in many of their matches.”

While Louderback recognizes the challenge the Illini (1-4) doubles lineup will present, he said the Irish are still confident as they move into this weekend’s match play.

“I am excited to see how we do against their doubles teams,” Louderback said.

Though the Irish dropped last weekend’s match to Michigan, they are still undefeated in conference play. After facing the Illini and then Indiana, Notre Dame will have a conference tilt versus Louisville, but will then return to playing Big Ten teams with matches against Purdue and Michigan State.

Notre Dame and Illinois are set to face off at noon on Sunday.

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