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Sports

Notre Dame splits squad to compete in two tournaments

| Thursday, November 2, 2017

Notre Dame’s women’s tennis team is set to split up and compete in two competitions this weekend. The team will compete in the Arizona State Invitational in Tempe, Arizona and in the Western Michigan Invitational in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Head coach Jay Louderback stated that four Irish women will be going to the Arizona State Invitational and five will be competing in Michigan. The groups will consist of one senior each and mixed freshmen and junior athletes.

“We’re sending [senior Allison] Miller, [junior] Rachel Chong, [sophomore] Zoe Spence and [freshman] Cameron Corse [to Arizona State],” Louderback said. “For the [Western Michigan] Invitational, [senior] Brooke Broda, [sophomore] Hayden Siegfried, [freshman] Ally Bojczuk, [freshman] Caroline Dunleavy and [freshman] Evangeline Shannon.”

Speaking on the decision to split the seniors, Louderback said that this will allow the team’s veterans to play the best players from opposing schools and provide leadership to both contingents of the team, but will also come with the drawback that the experienced Miller and Broda will not be able to play in the doubles tournament together.

“One senior will go to each [tournament]. Part of that, too, is that they’ll both play really high in our lineup. This way, both of them will be able to play against the No. 1 player from other schools,” Louderback said. “The only negative is those two have been playing doubles together — and since they’re going off to different places, they won’t be able to play doubles this weekend. They played all last year together, so we’re not too worried about the two getting experience playing with each other.”

For a young Irish team consisting of four freshmen and three sophomores in a team of 10, this weekend will be about gaining experience against the nation’s best and seeing which combinations work best for the team. Louderback emphasized this and explained that this fall season is all about figuring out how to set the lineup.

“We’re still looking at some doubles combinations. We’re going to be able to switch around at both sites to see those combinations. We’re also going to get a chance to see how a lot of our student athletes play against players that are top-two in other schools,” he said. “That’s something we use the fall for — to get our lineups set. This gives us an opportunity just to see how they compete against [top-ranked] players from other schools.”

Louderback also restated how important experience is for this team and how important this weekend is for a team with a lot of untested depth.

“Yeah it is experience — but also good experience against players that will play at the top of the lineup at other schools. It’s important for us because I feel like, this year, we have such good depth,” he said. “Really, we don’t have a whole lot of difference between our No. 1 and No. 8 player. This way, it gives all of them the same opportunity to play against top players.”

Both tournaments will be held Friday through Sunday.

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