ND Women’s Tennis
Irish open fall season at home
Josh Dulany | Thursday, September 25, 2014
The Irish get their fall season underway this weekend with the Notre Dame Invitational at the Courtney Tennis Center.
Illinois, Louisville, Purdue, Tulane and Akron will all be at the event, which will give every player three singles matches and two doubles contests. Irish coach Jay Louderback said the team is excited for the tournament and he is looking forward to seeing his team in action.
“In all the fall tournaments, the biggest thing is just match time,” Louderback said. “All the players have been practicing and they worked hard over the summer, but there is nothing like getting out there and playing in matches. It will be big for all of them to get back out there.”
Beyond getting the experience, Louderback said the Irish are focused on figuring out doubles parings and finding out how different members of the team play together.
“Another key for me is to see what we look like in doubles,” Louderback said. “We don’t really bring back any of last year’s pairings, so the fall is great to be able to get a look at the doubles and watch some different combinations.”
When asked about specific pairings, Louderback said the team is still finalizing its options and will be flexible throughout the weekend.
“We are still deciding on the exact groups,” Louderback said. “We probably won’t really commit until right at the tournament and, again, the big deal is just to see as many combinations as we can and find out what works well.”
Two players Louderback will not see this weekend are sophomore Monica Robinson and junior Quinn Gleason. Both will be heading to Pacific Palisades, California, for the International Tennis Association Women’s All-American Championships. Robinson starts play Saturday, while Gleason is expected to start play Wednesday. Louderback said he is excited for both of his players’ success.
“This is a great deal for Quinn and Monica,” Louderback said. “It’s the first national tournament of the year and for them to get in and face some great players from around the country will be big for them and should end up helping the whole team.”
Despite the absence of Gleason and Robinson, the Irish will have several top players in action this weekend. Louderback said he is excited to see each of them, but most of the buzz is around the two highly-recruited freshman Brooke Broda and Allison Miller. Louderback said he looks forward to seeing the freshman in competition, but is more focused on just seeing everybody play matches against quality teams.
“We just want to see all of them,” Louderback said. “Each player has things we want to see and we will get to see them against competition. Illinois, Purdue are Big Ten schools and are always tough. … We haven’t played [Louisville] in awhile, but with them moving into the ACC this season, it will be good to get a look at them as we get some matches under our belt.”
Louderback said the Irish are looking forward to getting the season underway, especially on their own campus.
“It should be great,” Louderback said. “We get to play and we get to play at home. We are looking forward to it.”
The Notre Dame Invitational gets underway at 10 a.m. Friday and continues Saturday at 10 a.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday. All matches will be at the Courtney Tennis Center.