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ND Women’s Tennis

Notre Dame secures sweep on road over weekend

| Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Notre Dame enjoyed a successful weekend on the road, as it defeated Indiana on Saturday, 6-1, followed by a 5-2 victory over conference-foe Louisville on Sunday.

Against Indiana on Saturday, the Irish (6-1, 2-0 ACC) were powered by singles wins from senior Mary Closs, junior Brooke Broda and sophomore Rachel Chong, who all won their matches in straight sets. Junior Allison Miller dropped the first set of her match, 6-2, but bounced back to win the final two sets by scores of 6-3 and 7-5. Senior Monica Robinson came out on the wrong side of her first set as well, falling 6-4, before similarly taking the final two sets of her match 6-1, 6-1. Freshman Zoe Spence won her first set, 6-2, before dropping the second set, 7-5. Spence helped the Irish complete the singles sweep by taking the decisive third set in a tiebreaker.

Irish senior Mary Closs serves the ball during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Western Michigan on Jan. 19, 2016, at Eck Tennis Pavilion.Emma Farnan | The Observer
Irish senior Mary Closs serves the ball during Notre Dame’s 7-0 win over Western Michigan on Jan. 19, 2016, at Eck Tennis Pavilion.

In the doubles competition, the pair of Chong-Spence won its match, 7-5. However, the team of Closs-Miller dropped its decision, 7-5, while the duo of Broda-Robinson fell short in its match, 6-3.

Against Louisville on Sunday, Chong, Closs, Miller and Robinson won their singles matches in straight sets. Spence dropped her first set before winning the next two to secure another point for the Irish, but senior Jane Fennelly fell in her match in straight sets.

In the doubles competition, the pair of Fennelly-Robinson dropped its match, 6-2, as did the duo of Chong-Spence, falling 6-3. The team of Closs-Miller saw its match discontinued due to the doubles point having been decided, but the duo was trailing 5-4 at the time.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback said he was pleased with his team’s performance over the weekend.

“We only lost one singles match the entire weekend,” Louderback said. “I felt like we had a good weekend, and we had a couple players who weren’t in our singles lineup who got in and did really well. Overall, it was a great weekend for us.”

Louderback also said he was happy to see some players step in and play well in place of injured players.

“We had some players move up in the lineup,” Louderback said. “We had a couple of players who were out of the lineup with some injuries, and we had a couple of players move up and play hard. They’ve been getting wins, too. The players that moved up only had one loss on the weekend. Those players getting wins for us was a big positive for our team.”

Louderback added that his team will work on improving its doubles play.

“We lost both doubles points this weekend, and our doubles has struggled so far,” he said. “Our singles have been really good, but I’m not sure why we haven’t been better in doubles because we have been good in practice. That’s something that we’re going to continue to work on a lot. We’re going to probably try some different combinations at times. Getting new people together can help.”

Notre Dame will return to action Wednesday evening when it hosts Purdue at Eck Tennis Pavilion at 5 p.m. The Irish will then host a doubleheader Saturday when they take on Michigan State at 10 a.m. and then Bowling Green later at 3 p.m.

Louderback said his team will rest before preparing to face three quality teams.

“Both of the Big Ten teams we face this [week] are middle to upper part of the Big Ten in terms of quality,” Louderback said. “They’re good teams that started off with a good fall. Our big thing is getting some rest these next couple of days and not go really hard so we can be physically ready on Wednesday.”

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