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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish lose one match, win another over break

| Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Notre Dame played two matches over spring break, losing to Miami in the first match before defeating LIU Brooklyn in the second.

Last Sunday, the Irish (9-5, 3-2) lost to the Hurricanes (6-4, 3-2) 5-2 in their first scheduled match over break in Coral Gables, Florida. Junior Mary Closs and sophomore Brooke Broda earned the only two singles victories of the day for the Irish, on the fourth and fifth courts respectively. Closs won her first set 6-3 before falling in the second set 6-3. In the tie-breaking set, Closs fought off opponent Silvia Fuentes, 6-2. Broda lost her first set 6-2 before fighting back to force a third set, which she won 10-7. In doubles action, the teams of Closs/senior Julie Vrabel and senior Quinn Gleason/junior Monica Robinson both lost their matches 6-3. Broda/sophomore Allison Miller were tied 4-4 before their match was discontinued.

Junior Mary Closs returns a hit in her 6-1 singles victory against Indiana at Eck Tennis Pavilion on Feb. 20.Caitlyn Jordan | The Observer
Junior Mary Closs returns a hit in her 6-1 singles victory against
Indiana at Eck Tennis Pavilion on Feb. 20.

The Irish were scheduled to play a double header against East Carolina and LIU Brooklyn on Tuesday in Puerto Rico, but the matches were cancelled due to weather. On Friday, the Irish defeated LIU Brooklyn (0-7) 7-0 in a rescheduled match. Notre Dame won all of its singles matches in straight sets, highlighted by straight 6-0 wins from Closs and back-to-back 6-1 victories by Broda and freshman Rachel Chong. In doubles, Gleason/Robinson and Closs/Vrabel won their matches 6-1, while Broda/Fennelly shut out their opponents 6-0.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback said this trip was beneficial to his team, both for team-bonding and in preparing for their upcoming outdoor matches.

“We had a great experience in Puerto Rico,” Louderback said, “and we had the opportunity to play or practice outdoors every day, which will help us in the transition to playing ACC matches outdoors.”

Louderback said he was pleased with his team’s performance during the trip and thought they adapted to the unfamiliar conditions faster than he expected.

“I thought we played really well in both matches and seemed to adjust to the elements really well,” Louderback said. “Transitioning to outdoors can take some time but we seemed to adjust quickly.”

Louderback said it was important to reschedule the match against LIU Brooklyn to make sure they didn’t play only one match over break and to play at least once in Puerto Rico.

“We lost one match because of rain, but we were able to reschedule the Long Island U. match,” Louderback said. “We really needed to get a least one match in besides the Miami match, so things worked out well.”

Louderback said Chong’s return from injury is important to his team’s depth going forward.

“We were able to get Rachel Chong her first dual match of the year,” Louderback said. “She’s coming back from an injury, and getting her in the lineup against Long Island shows we will have some extra depth.”

When asked about what area of his team’s game he thinks needs improvement, Louderback pointed to his team’s doubles play.

“We will continue to work on our doubles,” Louderback said. “I’m really excited about the way we’ve competed in singles. We have to get our doubles up to our singles level, and then we will be able to compete with any team.”

Notre Dame’s next match will be at home against Wake Forest on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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