ND Women’s Tennis
Notre Dame tops Purdue in midweek match
Michael Ivey | Friday, February 24, 2017
Notre Dame continued its hot start to the season Wednesday night as the Irish (7-1, 2-0 ACC) defeated visiting Purdue, 5-2, in a nonconference matchup at Eck Tennis Pavilion.
In the singles competition, junior Brooke Broda won a close match 6-3, 7-6(2). Junior Allison Miller also took a close first set 7-6(2) before winning the second set 6-3 to win the match in straight sets. Senior Mary Closs (6-1, 7-5) and freshman Zoe Spence (6-2, 6-2) also won their matches in straight sets. In the closest singles match of the meet, sophomore Rachel Chong dropped her first set 6-2 before bouncing back to earn a close 7-6(5) victory in the second set. In the third and decisive set, Chong came up on the wrong end of a 10-8 decision. Senior Monica Robinson won her first set 6-3 before dropping the final two sets 7-5, 10-4.
In the doubles competition, the No. 3 pairing of Chong/Spence won their match 7-5, while the No. 2 pair of Closs/Miller earned a 6-4 victory. The No. 1 pair of Broda/Robinson came up on the wrong end of a 6-3 decision, but the Irish still picked up the doubles point.
Irish assistant coach Catrina Thompson said she was happy with the way the team was able to close out its matches, especially in high-pressure situations.
“I think some of the positives were that everybody stepped up in singles,” Thompson said. “We had a lot of tight sets. Mary [Closs] was up one set and her opponent fought back and tied it up, but Mary was able to finish the match in straight sets. Same thing with Brooke [Broda]. Like I said, we would win our first sets and ended up tied during the second set, but managed to close out the set.”
Thompson said the team plans to continue improving on its doubles play going forward in the spring season.
“I think overall just getting stronger in doubles [is important],” Thompson said. “We put a big emphasis on focusing on doubles almost every practice. We did a good job yesterday but we were up in some doubles sets yesterday and let our opponent back into a couple of the matches. So just being stronger in doubles and focusing on the basic fundamentals of doubles and keep getting better from there.”
When asked whose performance stood out to her, Thompson pointed to the play of Allison Miller and Zoe Spence.
“Allie did a great job,” Thompson said. “She played a pretty talented Purdue freshman that has done very well this year. She had a great first set and battled her way to a win. I think Zoe also did a great job. She’s still undefeated and won pretty handily yesterday in straight sets. I think both of those two really stood out.”
The Irish will be back in action Saturday when they host a doubleheader against Michigan State at 10 a.m. and Bowling Green at 3 p.m. at Eck Tennis Pavilion.
Thompson said the team will work to be mentally and physically prepared for Saturday, especially when faced with the challenge of playing two matches in one day.
“We’ve had five matches the last eight days, so it’s been a grind to keep everyone healthy and making sure we’re both physically and mentally ready to go,” Thompson said. “We’ve had a couple of doubleheaders during the year so I think just mentally and physically being prepared [is a key]. Saturday is going to be a long day of tennis, but that’s the great thing about our depth. We have a lot of girls who we expect to play and come through for us.”