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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish defeat Miami for first time in three years

| Wednesday, March 29, 2017

The Irish had not beaten Miami in three seasons before their match this weekend. That streak ended Sunday, as the Notre Dame (15-3, 6-2 ACC) took down Miami (4-10, 3-5) 5-2.

It was a bounce-back win for the Irish, who were coming off of just their second ACC loss of the season to North Carolina State. Notre Dame’s seniors led the way, with seniors Monica Robinson and Mary Closs turning in both doubles and singles wins.

Irish senior Monica Robinson prepares to serve the ball during Notre Dame’s 5-2 win over Purdue on Feb. 22 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Robinson picked up her first win over a top-50 opponent of the season during Notre Dame’s 5-2 win over Miami on Sunday.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish senior Monica Robinson prepares to serve the ball during Notre Dame’s 5-2 win over Purdue on Feb. 22 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Robinson picked up her first win over a top-50 opponent of the season during Notre Dame’s 5-2 win over Miami on Sunday.

Robinson said the victory was a rewarding one for her, personally, as well as an important one for the team as a whole.

“This win was really awesome because this was the first time I’ve beaten [Miami] in my four years,” Robinson said. “I could feel the energy amongst all the girls. We really wanted this win. We knew what to expect; they were a rowdy team and we need to bring our grit.”

Robinson brought that grit to the table in her singles match. After dropping the first set 4-6, she stormed back 7-5, 6-2 to claim the victory in three sets over Miami freshman Estela Perez-Somarriba, who is ranked No. 33 in the country. Her win pushed the Irish lead to 4-2 and clinched the victory overall and gave Robinson her first win over a top-50 opponent of the season.

“It’s been a matter of finding my belief in myself,” Robinson said of the three-set win. “I’ve had a lot of three set matches, and it’s about endurance. I’m fortunate to be healthy and fit in the middle of the season. When I lose a first set, I don’t panic, because I know that I have the energy to outlast and force third sets.”

Closs added a comeback of her own against Hurricanes’ sophomore Ana Madcur. She went down after a 6-4 first set, but took the second one 6-3 and dominated late to win the deciding set 6-0.

The Irish dominated the doubles courts as well, picking up two wins early to pick up a 2-0 lead in doubles. Juniors Brooke Broda and Allison Miller rolled to a 6-0 win, followed shortly after by Closs and Robinson claiming their own 6-2 victory.

“We all started off with really high energy,” Robinson said of her doubles victory. “Mary and I played really well together and did great in the sudden-death points. Also, looking across to my teammates Ally [Miller] and Brooke [Broda] winning a quick 6-0 match was a really good motivator to get our win so we could win those doubles points.”

The Irish are now looking ahead to a road contest against Virginia Tech on Friday. The Hokies are riding a six match losing streak, but that does not mean the Irish are going to take them lightly, according to Robinson.

“We’re going to be playing indoors against them, we’ve heard the courts are pretty fast, so we’re preparing mentally,” Robinson said. “Virginia Tech should bring great competition. They’ll be a group of girls looking for a win against us, especially since we’ve beaten them each of the last three years. They’ll be looking for revenge, so we’re going to need to bring our best fight.”

The Irish will take on the Hokies on Sunday at Burrows-Burrleson Tennis Center in Blacksburg, Virginia, at 3 p.m.

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