ND Women’s Tennis
Irish extend losing streak to nine matches with losses to Eagles, Orange
Charlie Ortega Guifarro | Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Notre Dame was unable to break a month-long losing streak this past weekend, falling at Boston College and Syracuse. The Irish fell to the Eagles on Friday by a score of 4-3 and then lost to the Orange on Sunday by a score of 4-0.
Despite extending a losing streak that dates back to March 18 to nine matches, Irish head coach Jay Louderback said he believes his team has played well. Louderback said this weekend’s matches were not lopsided, as the Irish were closer to victory than it may seem.
“Both [matches were] on the road, indoors, both [in] tough places to play,” he said. “I felt like our [athletes] played really hard, and we had match points to win the [Boston College] match. The three matches that we didn’t finish against Syracuse, two of them of them we were way up in, and the other was even. So even though it was 4-0, it was more of a 4-3 match.
“It really felt like our [athletes] played hard and competed well. Every match, we go out now and that’s our main thing: play hard.”
The Irish (10-12, 2-10 ACC) started the weekend against the Eagles (12-10, 4-9) at Flynn Recreation Complex, where they fought hard for the doubles point but came up short, losing the deciding point in a tiebreaker set on court No. 3. Nevertheless, junior Rachel Chong, sophomore Zoe Spence and freshman Ally Bojczuk picked up singles victories for the Irish in the match, though senior Allison Miller and sophomore Caroline Dunleavy would lose their matches in third sets as Notre Dame would be unable to pick up the decisive fourth point.
Notre Dame then traveled to Drumlins Tennis Club in Syracuse, New York, to face the Orange (15-6, 7-6). The match didn’t last its full possible length, as Syracuse reached its four points before any of the other games had finished, resulting in three unfinished singles matches and one unfinished doubles match in the 4-0 win for the Orange.
Louderback said the team’s practices help a lot in understanding if any players are struggling and acknowledged that the players are working hard to get a win.
“We have great practices — that’s when you can tell if [athletes] are really struggling. We have a lot of young [athletes], so they have a long career ahead of them,” he said. “[The younger athletes] do a good job of coming out every day and practicing hard. That’s what really all of them have done. They’re definitely not content with losing right now, that’s for sure. I mean, they’re battling and trying to do everything they can to get wins. The ACC is rough; everybody is tough, but I feel like all of them are still working to try to get better.”
In a tough stretch of results such as the Irish are in now, Louderback said the team has held itself together quite well, particularly because the players all have close relationships with one another. Louderback said he admires the strength of the players’ relationships with one another.
“We’re just going about it every match; every match we play, we’re trying to play as hard as we can and get the win,” he said. “With the ACC, that’s what’s tough with them: You just don’t get a break. There’s no easy matches. I’ve been very excited about how well our [athletes] have handled the last four weeks, coming out to practice every day. They are all a close group; they get along really well, which is a key right now when we’ve lost a few matches. It’s good to have a team that is close and gets along really well. So we’ve just been going at it a match at a time.”
After the cancellation of a match against No. 11 Illinois on Feb. 11, the Irish had an extra match day to use. Notre Dame opted to compete this Wednesday at IUPUI, and the match will begin in the afternoon and be the last road match of the regular season for Notre Dame.
The two losses weren’t the only bad news of the weekend for the Irish, as they did not have freshman Cameron Corse available due to an injury. Louderback said Corse is currently day-to-day, and the team is still unsure of whether she’ll be able to play this weekend. The team is certain, however, that Corse will not play Wednesday against IUPUI, leaving Dunleavy the likely candidate to replace her in the lineup once again as she did in both of this weekend’s matches.