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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish drop pair off conference matches in North Carolina

| Thursday, March 31, 2016

Over the weekend, Notre Dame dropped conference matchups to both North Carolina State and North Carolina.

On Thursday, the Irish (9-8, 3-5 ACC) lost a tight 4-3 match against NC State (10-6, 3-4) at the J.W. Isenhour Tennis Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. Juniors Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly were the lone winners in singles competition for Notre Dame. Closs lost her first set 7-5 before storming back to win the final two sets 6-3 and 7-5. Fennelly lost her first set 6-4, but bounced back to win the second set 6-4. In the third and decisive set, Fennelly was losing 3-2 before her opponent retired, giving Fennelly the match win.

Sophomore Allison Miller lost her first set 6-2 before fighting back to take the second set 6-4. She lost the decisive set, 6-4. Junior Monica Robinson dropped her first set 6-3, rebounded to earn a hard-fought second-set win, 7-6(2), but was bested 6-4 in the third set. Senior Quinn Gleason, on the No. 1 court, lost a close first set, 7-6(3), and was defeated in the second set, 6-4. Sophomore Brooke Broda also lost her match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-1.

In doubles action, the tandems of Gleason and Robinson and Miller and Broda both won 6-4, on the first and third courts respectively, to take the doubles point. The pairing of Closs and senior Julie Vrabel were shut out in their match, 6-0.

Then on Saturday, Notre Dame traveled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to take on the No. 4 Tar Heels (20-2, 8-0) at the Cone-Kenfield Tennis Center, ending up on the wrong end of a 5-2 decision. Closs and Broda were the winners in singles competition for the Irish. Closs took the first set 7-5 before shutting out her opponent in the second set 6-0. Broda won her match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-3. Gleason, Robinson, Miller and Fennelly all lost their matches in straight sets.

In doubles action, Gleason and Robinson dropped a 6-1 decision, while the team of Closs and Vrabel was defeated 6-2. The match between Miller and Broda and their opponent was discontinued while the pair was down 5-2.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback said despite the recent losses, his team will not change its game preparation routine and said his team needs to focus on taking each match one at a time.

“We are preparing for Florida State like we always do,” Louderback said. “We are focusing on playing each match.”

When asked which of his players he thought stood out the most in their last two matches, Louderback responded that he liked the contributions from several players last weekend.

“I thought we had good outings from different players in each match,” Louderback said.

The Irish will be back in action this Friday when they host conference-rival Florida State at Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Seminoles (9-9, 1-7) are coming off of a 4-0 loss to Virginia on Sunday.

“It looks like the match will be indoors so we are getting plenty of indoor play in this week,” Louderback said.

Five of Notre Dame’s final seven regular season games will take place at home. Louderback thinks playing in a familiar environment will be beneficial for his team in this important final stretch of the regular season.

“We are very excited to be playing the majority of our remaining matches at home,” Louderback said. “It seems like we have been on the road most of the season.”

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