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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish open spring season with sweep

| Monday, January 19, 2015

Notre Dame opened its season Saturday with two wins against Western Michigan and Detroit Mercy at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The No. 20 Irish (2-0) dominated both teams, winning 6-1 against the Broncos (1-1) and 7-0 against the Titans (0-2).

Individually, the team had a strong showing, winning 11 of 12 singles matches on the day. However, Western Michigan’s top doubles pair of sophomore Meika Ashby and senior Caroline Aleck upset the top Irish pairing of junior Quinn Gleason and sophomore Monica Robinson, who were ranked 16th nationally, by a score of 6-3.

Irish sophomore Monica Robinson squares up to return a shot during Notre Dame’s 4-3 loss to Georgia Tech on Feb. 21.Emma Farnan | The Observer
Irish sophomore Monica Robinson squares up to return a shot during Notre Dame’s 4-3 loss to Georgia Tech on Feb. 21.

In the evening match against Detroit Mercy, the Irish had an even more impressive performance, sweeping the singles portion of the match and only dropping one of the doubles matches.

Gleason said the early success should give her team some momentum moving forward.

“As a team I think we handled our first two matches very well,” Gleason said. “Double headers are tough because it’s such a long day. Western Michigan and Detroit Mercy both have very solid players and I was proud of how everyone on the team competed and I think the wins will give us confidence going forward.”

When asked how her individual goals fit in the team’s overarching season goals, Gleason said she was ready to begin the season at the top of the Irish singles line-up.

“I’m honored to be playing first singles for the team this year,” Gleason said. “I’m really excited that I’ll have the chance to play the best players in the nation. Right now I’m just trying to work on being more aggressive and trying to get to the net as much as possible.”

Moreover, Gleason praised the performance of her teammates in the opening weekend of the new season.

“I specifically thought Allison Miller, our freshman, had a good first weekend of the spring season,” Gleason said. “I remember my first college match my hands were shaking I was so nervous, but she handled the pressure really well and her results reflected that.”

Playing at fourth-position singles against the Broncos and third-position singles against the Titans, Miller had little trouble, winning both matches, 6-1, 6-3, and 6-1, 6-1, respectively. On the doubles side, Miller paired with sophomore Jane Fennelly and then junior Julie Vrabel later in the afternoon, winning both in decisive fashion, 6-2 and 6-1.

Starting the season at No. 20 in the national rankings should help the team gain confidence before opening ACC play next month, Gleason said.

“I think we have a lot of potential this year,” Gleason said. “Personally I believe the team is deeper than it has been my first two years on the team so I’m really excited to see where that can take us this season.”

The Irish will have a weekend off before getting back to work the following one. The next chance Notre Dame will have to prove its worth on the court will be against No. 16 Michigan, which visits the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Feb. 1.

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