ND Women’s Tennis
Notre Dame closes regular season with two home losses
Meagan Bens | Tuesday, April 24, 2018
In the final weekend of conference play, Notre Dame dropped two top-20 home matchups, losing to No. 18 Florida State on Friday afternoon and No. 17 Miami on Sunday afternoon, both by a score of 6-1 .
After winning nine of their first three non-conference matchups, the Irish (11-14, 2-12 ACC) have struggled against a tough field of ACC competition, featuring six teams ranked in the top-25.
On Friday, freshman Ally Bojczuk was the only scoring member for the Irish against the Seminoles (18-7, 9-3) as Notre Dame played outside for the first time this season. Continuing her strong singles performance against the Hurricanes (15-6, 11-3) on Sunday, Bojczuk was once again the only member of the team to score.
In the doubles competition, Seminoles sophomore Carla Touly and junior Anna Rahmanparast defeated senior Brooke Broda and sophomore Zoe Spence 6-1 on court No. 1. On court No. 2, Bojczuk and senior Allison Miller held their own with a 3-2 lead before play was suspended. Meanwhile, junior Rachel Chong and freshman Caroline Dunleavy were also beaten 6-1 on the third doubles court.
Moving on to singles, Florida State quickly was within one point of clinching the match on the first two courts. Freshman Petra Hule defeated Broda (6-2, 6-1) on two before Touly took down Miller 6-0, 6-2 at court No. 1. Bojczuk walked away with the lone Notre Dame win on court No. 4, 6-3, 6-1. Despite a strong effort by Spence on court No. 3, forcing a third set but ultimately losing 10-6, Florida State sealed the match after sophomore Andrea Garcia’s 6-2, 6-4 victory over Dunleavy on court six.
“Zoe Spence, Rachel Chong and Ally Bojczuk all played really well,” Irish head coach Jay Louderback said. “We were in all three matches. Rachel was up 5-4 in the first and ended up losing a tight one, 7-5. Zoe did a great job and lost a tiebreak. I felt like we played like we have all year, we played close. We battled it hard.”
With a short turnaround, the Irish hosted the Hurricanes, who took the first doubles decision on court No. 3 as freshman Ulyana Shirokova and sophomore Dominika Paterova defeated Bojczuk and Chong, 6-2. The teams were toe-to-toe on courts No. 1 and 2, but the Hurricanes captured the doubles point with a 6-4 win over Miller and sophomore Bess Waldram. Broda and Spence held a 5-4 lead over sophomore Estela Perez-Somarriba and junior Daniella Roldan when play was suspended.
In the singles round, Miami extended their lead winning five of six courts. They clinched the victory with a 6-4, 6-4 defeat of Chong by Shirokova on court No. 5. Once again, Bojczuk paced the Irish in their lone point, winning 1-0 in a tiebreaker.
“We lost both matches 6-1, but we had some tight matches,” Louderback said. “We were up two match points at one doubles and lost a close one at two. We were very close at doubles and just lost some tough ones. Ally Bojczuk had a good one at [court No.] 4. [Miami] looked good and played well. It was good for us to get to play outside. Hopefully, we will be outdoors at our conference this week.”
Although Notre Dame dropped the senior day match, Louderback said he was pleased with Miller’s performance during her last home match.
“We’ve been gone a lot,” Louderback said. “It was nice to be at home, and they’re both top-20 schools. Allison Miller was the one senior who had her last home match. That’s always an emotional one but she played well and competed well. … It’s always a tough last match you have to play. She’s been unbelievable for us for four years. Started off playing four and five singles for us freshman year and number three doubles, and she’s worked her way to play No. 1 singles as a senior and either one or two doubles. She’s made great improvement and she’s just a hard worker. Probably one of the hardest workers that has played for me.”
The Irish will face Wake Forest as the No. 14-seed in Cary, North Carolina, on Wednesday.