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ND Women’s Tennis

Notre Dame looks to rebound against pair of ranked opponents

| Friday, February 6, 2015

No. 19 Notre Dame will host No. 8 Stanford on Friday and No. 31 Ohio State on Sunday in a pair of matches this weekend at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The Irish (2-1) are coming off their first loss of the season against No. 15 Michigan and now welcome two more ranked opponents in the Cardinal (2-0) and the Buckeyes (3-0).

Junior Quinn Gleason prepares to hit a backhand during Notre Dame's 4-3 win against Indiana on Feb. 2, 2014.Emma Farnan | The Observer
Junior Quinn Gleason prepares to hit a backhand during Notre Dame’s 4-3 win against Indiana on Feb. 2, 2014.

Despite the loss Saturday, Irish coach Jay Louderback said his players performed well and were able to learn a lot about themselves in the matchup.

“I thought we played really well in the doubles,” Louderback said. “We felt like probably going in, our No. 2 doubles team [freshman Allison Miller and junior Julie Vrabel] might be our strength. They went [to the] semifinals at [the Midwest Regional] playing No. 2 for us, and what do we do? We win at one and three.

“Our one team [junior Quinn Gleason and sophomore Monica Robinson] had lost to that team in the regional finals, so they were really looking forward to getting to play Michigan again. And then the team at three, [sophomores] Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly, hadn’t played since early fall, so it was good for them to not only get to play together, but play well.”

Regardless of what the scoreboard might have indicated after a 5-2 loss, Louderback said that the team played well against Michigan and that he would like to see them carry that effort forward to this weekend’s matches.

“We were right there with them early, and I really felt like we played well last weekend,” Louderback said. “I felt like the intensity we had last week in singles and doubles was great. We’ve got to carry that over to this week.”

Having moved on from last weekend’s match, the Irish now look ahead to their matches against Stanford and Ohio State, a pair of teams Louderback considers to be two of the better teams in the country.

“I think this might be the best team that [Ohio State] has ever had since I’ve been here,” Louderback said. “They’re very good. And then Stanford is No. 8, but they’re actually better than that. Their top five are as good as any other top five in the country. The thing that’s great for us is getting both those teams here on our courts. … Stanford doesn’t play a lot of indoor tennis, and they’re going to have to come here and play us indoors, which is good.”

In order to come out of this weekend with two victories, Louderback said the Irish must focus on what they can do and not worry about or overlook the two teams they are set to play.

“We’ve got to go out there and not worry about who we are playing,” Louderback said. “Stanford has always been one of the top teams in the country for 30 years. At times, they’ve been like [Connecticut] and our women in hoops; they’ve been really really good. But in the last six to eight years, we’ve been right there with them, so I think that’s a big thing. And we won’t let them overlook Ohio State because they’re good.”

Notre Dame will square off against Stanford on Friday at 5 p.m. and Ohio State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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About Benjamin Padanilam

Ben is a senior and The Observer’s former Editor-in-Chief, now serving as its interim Sports Editor. He is in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and also pursuing minors in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) and Business Economics. He hails from Toledo, Ohio, and has enjoyed the few highs and many lows of being a Cleveland sports fan.

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