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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish begin outdoor season in Puerto Rico

Chris Allen | Tuesday, March 16, 2010

 The No. 3 Irish spanned two vastly different locales en route to a 2-1 record over Spring Break. 

After defeating Indiana at home, the Irish (12-2) split a pair of matches in Puerto Rico, defeating William & Mary and losing to No. 7 Duke in the squad’s first outdoor matches of the season.
The team opened the break with a dominating 7-0 victory over in-state rival Indiana in what will likely be the team’s last indoor match of the season. The Irish dropped only one doubles match while still pulling out the doubles point. The Irish were propelled by a dominating 6-0, 6-1 victory in first singles from national No. 14 sophomore Kristy Frilling over Indiana freshman Leslie Hureau. Frilling won 10 straight games to start the match and the Irish never looked back.
“It’s our last indoor match, so we’re happy to finish with a win,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “We played much better in the doubles, and that really gave us a boost going into the singles. Indiana is a tough team. They beat a ranked team in Tennessee the week before so we knew they would be tough.”
Coming off the defeat of the Hoosiers, Notre Dame made a huge transition, traveling to Puerto Rico for the first outdoor matches of the season. Louderback said the new playing environment challenged his team.
“The biggest thing about getting outdoors is that the rest of the schedule is outdoors,” Louderback said. “There was a lot of rain, so there wasn’t as much time for hitting as we wanted. It’s important to get outdoors, but I feel like we were still adjusting as we left the trip.”
Notre Dame opened up strong by defeating William & Mary 5-2.
“Our first one is always the toughest one,” Louderback said. “The sky was overcast, though, so we didn’t have a lot of elements to deal with. We switched our doubles around and played much better. It didn’t feel like our first match outside because we adjusted better than we did against Duke.”
Against the No. 7 Duke, the defending national champion, a defeat of Frilling in first singles set the tone in a 5-2 Irish loss. After sweeping the doubles matches, the Irish lost five of six singles matches. Senior Cosmina Ciobanu was the only winner.
“Playing a good team from the south outdoors when it’s early in the season is tough,” Louderback. “It was sunny and there was a lot of wind to deal with. I think we had some trouble with it.”
The Irish will look to get back in the win column when they travel to take on Vanderbilt Friday.