ND Women’s Tennis
Notre Dame set to begin spring season
Observer Sports Staff | Thursday, January 19, 2017
With its first matches of the spring season Sunday in the form of a doubleheader against Western Michigan and Wright State, Notre Dame comes out of the winter break looking to expand on some success in the fall season and improve on its 14-14 record from the 2015-16 season.
Highlights of last year included wins over Pittsburgh and Clemson on the way to the team’s quarterfinal berth in the ACC Championship. The team lost a close match to UCLA in the first round of the NCAA Championships as well.
The Irish have a strong core of players returning on their singles roster, including seniors Monica Robinson, Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly, and juniors Brooke Broda and Allison Miller — all of whom are experienced in competition. Robinson in particular has a significant amount of career experience with a 59-39 record, playing at the No. 2 slot for the past two seasons. The team’s underclassmen show promise as well, with sophomore Rachel Chong returning from an injury and freshmen Bess Waldram and Zoe Spence showing potential after their impressive play in their first round of competition at Notre Dame. Waldram was especially solid with a team-leading 7-2 singles record during her first fall.
Although the team’s strength was in singles, the pairings of Robinson and Broda and Fennelly and Waldram was solid in the past, with Robinson and Broda notching a 6-2 record and reaching the finals of the ITA Midwest Regional Championship in the fall. Fennelly and Waldram posted a 5-0 doubles record in the fall.
The Irish will face tough non-conference competition this upcoming season, with seven of their opponents ranked in the top 25, including No. 2 North Carolina and No. 10 Duke. Notre Dame will also face five Big Ten opponents, non-conference matches for the Irish that will challenge them as they move outside of the known territory of fellow ACC teams.
The spring season kicks off for the Irish at Eck Tennis Pavilion against Western Michigan at 10 a.m., followed by a match against Wright State at 3 p.m.