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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish win three, drop one over spring break

| Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Notre Dame spent spring break traveling along the East Coast in Virginia and North Carolina.

Along the way, the Irish (14-2, 5-1 ACC) picked up two non-conference wins against Richmond and William & Mary and a conference win against Wake Forest to extend their winning streak to 11 straight matches. That streak was snapped Sunday, when the Irish lost 4-3 to conference foe Virginia.

Irish junior Brooke Broda readies for a backhand during Notre Dame’s 5-2 victory over Purdue on Feb. 22 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Michael Yu | The Observer

Irish junior Brooke Broda readies for a backhand during Notre Dame’s 5-2 victory over Purdue on Feb. 22 at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Notre Dame shut out Richmond (4-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10) 7-0 in Richmond, Virginia. The Irish then traveled to Williamsburg two days later to defeat William & Mary (7-8, 2-1 CAA) 5-2. The Irish were powered by singles wins from junior Brooke Broda (4-6, 6-4 6-2), sophomore Rachel Chong (6-1, 6-3), junior Allison Miller (6-2, 7-6 (7-3)) and freshman Zoe Spence (2-6, 7-5, 7-5) along with doubles wins from senior Jane Fennelly and Spence (6-1) and Broda and Miller (6-4) in the match against William & Mary.

Notre Dame finished its road trip Friday when it defeated then-No. 23 Wake Forest 4-1 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The Irish won three of the four singles matches that were played to completion as Broda (6-3, 6-4), Miller (6-1, 6-4) and Spence (7-6 (7-9), 6-1) all recorded wins. In the doubles competition, seniors Monica Robinson and Mary Closs won their match 6-2 on court one while Broda and Miller earned a 6-3 victory on court two.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback said he was pleased his team was able to get a win in an outdoor match over the break.

“One of the biggest things was our win at Wake Forest,” Louderback said. “We only hit outdoors for two days the whole spring and we played Wake outside and we lost to them a year ago here. We didn’t finish all of the matches but we beat them 4-1 playing outdoors and it was around 50 degrees. It was a big plus for us to play our first match outdoors and also get the win against Wake. They were ranked No. 23 in the nation.”

In singles against Virginia (7-5, 5-0 ACC) on Sunday, Miller lost the first set of her match 6-4 before rebounding to win the final two sets 6-4, 6-4 on court three. Broda swept her match 7-5, 6-4 on court two, while Robinson won her match 6-4, 7-5 on court one. Chong, Closs and Spence all fell in their matches.

In the doubles competition, the doubles pair of Closs and Robinson lost 6-1 on court one while Broda and Miller dropped a close 7-6 (7-4) decision on court two. The match featuring Fennelly and Spence on court three was discontinued.

Louderback said he likes the way his team has played since the start of the spring semester.

“I think we’re playing really well right now,” Louderback said. “We had a really good fast start and played well the whole spring break and even though we lost to Virginia we played well in that match. I think now it’s about keeping match tough. We’re still working on doubles, but I think we’re playing well right now.”

Louderback said he thought all of his players performed well over break and no one had a performance that stood out over the others.

“I don’t think we had really one person,” Louderback said. “I think that’s one of the things that have been really good for us this year. We’ve been able to win at all six positions in the lineup and in the doubles too. This has been such a good team effort all year long and I think that’s how it was over spring break. I thought everyone performed well.”

Louderback said his team will go through its normal preparation for the next match.

“We’re basically practicing and just getting ready,” Louderback said. “At this point of the season it’s more about keeping all of our strokes the way they’ve been all season. The main thing is just staying ready for the next match and practicing. We’re getting a little rest now. Over spring break we played four matches in seven days which is quite a bit, and now we have a chance to get a little bit of rest in before our next match. So I think our big thing now is just making sure we’re rested and if any of the players have any minor nagging injuries, they’ll get a few days of rest which will make a big difference.”

The Irish will be back in action Friday when they host a conference match with North Carolina State at Courtney Tennis Center beginning at 4 p.m.

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