ND Women’s Tennis
Notre Dame rolls in pair of wins
Hunter McDaniel | Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Amongst the cross-campus noise over the weekend, Notre Dame quietly had a dominating weekend, defeating North Carolina State and Marquette.
Friday afternoon, the Irish (12-6, 6-3 ACC) never left any doubt in a dismantling of conference opponent NC State (9-10, 0-8 ACC), winning 6-1.
Notre Dame opened the afternoon with a complete team win in doubles, as the No. 20 doubles pair of junior Quinn Gleason and sophomore Monica Robinson cruised to an 8-1 victory over Wolfpack seniors Nicole Martinez and Sophie Nelson at No. 1 doubles. At No. 3 doubles, sophomores Jane Fennelly and Mary Closs fought to earn an 8-6, come-from-behind victory over NC State sophomores Liza Fieldsend and Natalia Janowicz after once trailing 5-2.
With the doubles point clinched, Notre Dame continued its dominance into the singles matches, taking home five of the six singles matches en route to the victory.
Notre Dame snowballed its Friday performance into an even more resounding victory on Sunday afternoon, as the Irish rolled over Marquette (10-8, 1-1 Big East) in a 7-0 sweep.
Irish head coach Jay Louderback switched things up for his team a little bit on Sunday by breaking up his top doubles pairing of Gleason and Robinson. Instead, he went with freshman Allison Miller and junior Julie Vrabel at the No. 1 doubles flight, Closs and Fennelly at No. 2 and a tandem of Robinson and senior Katherine White at the third flight.
The latter two pairings for the Irish both snagged wins, allowing Notre Dame to take an early lead into the singles portion of the match. It never looked back.
Though she did not play in the doubles flights Sunday, Gleason said she was impressed with White’s play at No. 3 doubles.
“I thought Katherine played especially well this weekend,” Gleason said. “She stepped up when the team needed her in the doubles line up. She and Monica had never played together before, so it was awesome to see that she could jump right into the line up and clinch the doubles point on Sunday.”
All six members of the Irish who competed in singles on Sunday afternoon came out victorious, each one by a considerable margin. Gleason returned to the lineup at No. 1 singles, where she was able to defeat top Golden Eagle senior Ana Pimienta, 6-3, 6-2. At No. 3 singles, Vrabel won every game en route to a 6-0, 6-0 win over Marquette sophomore Diana Tokar.
The extremely strong showing in the singles matches allowed Notre Dame to secure its most lopsided win of the year as it heads into the homestretch.
“This weekend definitely gives us confidence going into the last few weeks of regular season play,” Gleason said. “We’ve been having really tight matches recently. The great thing about the ACC is that every team has great players and every match will be competitive. This weekend’s 6-1 and 7-0 wins were good timing coming off an extremely competitive last weekend on the road.”
Notre Dame will have a solid opportunity to pick up a couple more wins this weekend when they visit Wake Forest and Virginia Tech, a pair of teams below it in the ACC standings. At noon Friday, the Irish will take on the Demon Deacons (12-9, 2-7) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, before taking a trip to Blacksburg, Virginia, on Sunday for a contest with the Hokies (12-5, 4-4).
“The next few weeks will be very important for the team to try to improve our ranking before NCAAs,” Gleason said. “We have some really good opportunities [later in the season] against teams like Duke and Miami, and I’m really excited to see how we stack up against the top teams in the conference.”