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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish look to secure another win at home against rival Wolverines

| Thursday, February 2, 2017

Coming off of an ACC win over Pittsburgh this past weekend, Notre Dame is poised to take on No. 13 Michigan this Friday at home.

“I feel good, and I think they feel very confident after playing well last weekend,” Irish head coach Jay Louderback said. “I think for us it was great confidence-wise because we played well on the road, and starting off 3-0 is always good.”

Although the Irish (3-0, 1-0 ACC) are mentally ready to take on the Wolverines (2-0, 0-0 Big Ten) after a so far successful season, Louderback is not allowing confidence to prevent the team from pushing their game in practice.

“During practice everybody’s been real positive and working hard, and we’re real positive with them on the court,” said Louderback. “The big thing for us is that we’re trying to get them to play a  little bit more aggressive. We can’t worry about them missing some balls. If you hit the ball real big you’re going to make a few errors and the big thing you’re able to do when you do that is that you’re gonna have more winners.”

The Irish have been honing this aggression in singles in particular this week, and Louderback said he is pleased with the results.

“Our doubles has been very good so far so we’ve really been working quite a bit with our singles this week,” said Louderback, “Since we’re gonna be indoors for quite a while we’re trying to keep our kids being aggressive and not wanting to play defensive and backing up from the baseline but staying in close on the baseline.”

So far, the Irish’s season looks strong at 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, but Michigan will be their most challenging competition yet, a fact the team recognizes, Louderback said.

“Michigan’s very good, they’re top 15, and we’ve lost to them a few times in a row,” Louderback said. “They’re a very good team and very deep so that’s going be the challenging thing. They’re a legitimate top-15 team, maybe even a top-10 team.”

Although Michigan looms large as difficult competition to beat, Louderback said that with the aggression they have been focusing on in practice, the confidence they have earned from their previous matches and solid effort from each member of the team, the win is within their grasp.

“I just feel like for us we’ve gotta all play well,” Louderback said. “When you play a team that’s this good everybody has to play well. We’re not gonna win all of the matches but if we get everybody playing well, we’ll have a shot at winning.”

The Irish and the Wolverines face off at 3:30 p.m. Sunday at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

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