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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish find singles success at Northwestern Invitational

| Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Notre Dame capped off a strong weekend of competition at the Wildcat Invitational at Northwestern on Sunday, with three Irish players finishing undefeated in singles competition. Irish head coach Jay Louderback praised the progressive success of the team.

Irish junior Rachel Chong returns a backhand during Notre Dame's 5-2 win over Purdue on Feb. 22 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Chong was one of three Irish athletes undefeated in singles play this past weekend.Observer File Photo

Irish junior Rachel Chong returns a backhand during Notre Dame’s 5-2 win over Purdue on Feb. 22 at Eck Tennis Pavilion. Chong was one of three Irish athletes undefeated in singles play this past weekend.

“I thought we played really well, especially after the first day, the first day was our first matches of the year,” Louderback said. “We competed OK that first day but, after our [women] got a chance to play in singles and doubles, we made a big jump to the second day and then the third day. We got a little more into playing mode and competed well.”

Three members of the women’s team went undefeated in singles competition. Junior Rachel Chong won her three rounds of competition. Freshmen Cameron Corse and Ally Bojczuk also kept their loss columns empty, winning the black and orange flights, respectively. Louderback was especially pleased with the freshmen’s debuts at Northwestern.

“I thought it was a good plus that we had a lot of freshmen playing their first match and it’s always good to get that under their belt,” Louderback said.

Although this was the first competition of the season, Louderback was impressed at the fitness displayed by the young Irish squad — adding that the team is in very good shape — after their performance in three-set matches.

“I felt like, physically, one thing we wanted to see was — we had a lot of three-set matches — how we handled it and how we played in the third set,” Louderback said. “We were 6-0 in three-set matches in singles. Which was a plus, it gave us an indication that the [women] were in good shape and were able to finish out and actually, play better in the third set. So that was something we were definitely looking at and it was good, the way we ended up going three-sets and remain 6-0. I felt that was a really good indication of our fitness right now.”

The Irish started off the weekend with a combined 5-3 record in singles competitions Friday. On Saturday, the Irish improved, dropping just one singles match with a 7-1 record on the day. The Irish also showed improvement in doubles competitions with a combined 3-1 record Saturday. The team capped off the tournament Sunday going a combined 5-2 in singles competitions and a perfect 4-0 in doubles competitions.

The young Irish team is currently set on improving, but Louderback is not too focused on expectations for this fall season, and is putting more attention on making sure the freshmen get the hang of things, saying that it is too early to know how well this team can perform in more competitive play.

“I think we’ll do well; it’s just early, there’s a lot of freshmen,” Louderback said. “Right now, we’re trying to have our [women] learn a lot this fall, to get ready for the spring. You know right now our expectations are the last thing we’re worried about. We’re worried about improving and just getting better right now.”

Next up for the Irish is the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which will begin Oct. 17.

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