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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish to take on Indiana, Ohio State

Dan Maloof | Thursday, April 5, 2007

The No. 2 Irish will look to extend their winning streak to 16 as they take on No. 34 Indiana and No. 48 Ohio State this weekend. Notre Dame, coming off a 6-1 rout of Purdue at the Courtney Tennis Center on Tuesday, will be looking to improve their impressive 19-1 overall record as they travel to Bloomington to take on the Hoosiers at 10 a.m. Saturday. Indiana has begun the season with a 5-0 record in the Big Ten for the first time since 1995 and have won 6 straight matches overall. “Indiana is always really good,” Notre Dame coach Jay Louderback said. “They all play about the same and they use the lob a lot. It looks like we’re going to be indoors and their doubles would probably be better outside just because they use the lob and don’t really hit the big ground strokes.”Indiana easily defeated Big Ten rival Ohio State 6-1 Wednesday, capping its streak of consecutive Big Ten triumphs. After the Irish battle the Hoosiers, they will travel to Columbus, Ohio, for a match with the Buckeyes that begins at 2:30 p.m. Monday.Coming off a tough loss against the Hoosiers Wednesday, Ohio State will be looking to get back on the winning track they had been on before Indiana match. The Buckeyes defeated Syracuse and Michigan State the previous week. The Irish have won 14 straight matches and have not been challenged much during the streak. In addition to the recent success, the Irish welcomed back freshman Colleen Rielley Tuesday, and they are hoping to be back at full strength by the end of next week. “It’s going to be another week before [junior] Brook Buck is back. We’ve been very careful just taking it slow, but she’ll be back,” Louderback said. “But other than that, we should be at full strength this weekend.”After taking a day off from practice Wednesday, the Irish will be back at practice Thursday. Louderback feels that at this point in the season, the most important thing is staying fresh. “This time of year the kids are in a pretty good groove of playing and it’s mainly now just hitting enough to stay good and confident,” Louderback said. “We’ll probably play a little more doubles these next few days just because one team has only played once together and we should get them a little more experience playing together.”After Notre Dame’s two matches this weekend, the Irish will have three days to practice and rest up for three matches the following weekend against Northwestern, DePaul and Marquette.