ND Women’s Tennis
Irish kick off season at Wildcat Invitational
Michael Ivey | Tuesday, October 4, 2016
After a month of practice, Notre Dame kicked off the 2016-2017 season this weekend, competing in the in the three-day Wildcat Invitational at Northwestern’s Combe Tennis Center.
Irish head coach Jay Louderback said he was happy to see the freshman play in their first collegiate tournament.
“I thought we played really well,” Louderback said. “It was good for us to get our freshman to play their first matches. They’re always nervous, so they get to fight through their nerves the first couple of matches. We watched them play yesterday and we felt that our freshman played much better. Overall, I felt it was a good weekend for us.”
The rain over the weekend forced the majority of matches to be played indoors and a number of matches were cancelled, including the finals Sunday.
In singles competition Friday, junior Brooke Broda, senior Monica Robinson and junior Allison Miller all won their matches in straight sets. Senior Mary Closs dropped her first set 6-1 before rallying to win the final two sets by identical scores of 6-1, 6-1. The doubles teams of Broda/Robinson and freshman Bess Waldram/Closs both won their matches in the doubles competition.
On Saturday, Broda and senior Jane Fennelly were able to claim singles victories, while four Irish doubles teams won during the doubles competition.
On Sunday, the final day of the tournament, Broda won her singles match in straight sets to finish the weekend undefeated. Robinson and sophomore Rachel Chong also won their matches in straight sets, while Waldram dropped her first set before winning her final two.
Louderback said he was pleased with how well his team looked performing in the singles competition.
“We’ve worked hard on our singles this fall,” Louderback said. “Brooke Broda was in the finals of the top flight. She’s been playing really well in practice, so it was really good to see her play well in matches, too. Overall, I felt like the singles looked good.”
Louderback said his team will continue to work on their doubles combinations going forward.
“We still don’t really have an idea on what our doubles combinations are going to be, so a big thing is going to be who we’re going to look at playing together for doubles,” Louderback said. “I think that’s our biggest thing right now.”
Louderback mentioned Broda as a player that stood out to him this weekend, but also said the rest of the team performed well.
“Brooke had a great tournament,” Louderback said. “Getting to the finals was a big accomplishment. She had a really good year last year, and it felt like she was just continuing from last year. I also thought everyone else did a great job. In the first tournament of the year, some of our kids haven’t played in any tournaments or matches since last year’s NCAA tournament. So in the first tournament, a lot of it is getting back into playing matches. I felt like, especially on the third day, everybody looked much better than we did the first day.”
The Irish’s next tournament will be the ITA Midwest Regional Championships in East Lansing, Michigan, from October 20-25. Louderback said his team will work on their doubles combinations and continue to improve upon their singles play in practice leading up to the event.
“We’ve got two weeks before our next tournament,” Louderback said. “We’ll mainly try to get it back to where we’re playing a lot of matches, playing against each other, and also continue to work on the doubles combinations. Also, each one of our players will have something that they felt they need to work on from the tournament, so we’ll do a lot of individual work with them on that.”