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ND Women’s Tennis

Irish look to rebound with matchup against No. 1 Tar Heels

| Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Irish fell 5-2 to both No. 3 Georgia Tech and Clemson last Friday and Sunday, and now look to face North Carolina and North Carolina State at home this weekend.

During their third and fourth matches on the road against ranked opponents, the Irish (10-8, 2-6 ACC) came up short as a team. Facing Georgia Tech (14-4, 6-2), all the Irish doubles teams were defeated, but sophomore Zoe Spence and freshman Caroline Dunleavy pulled victories in singles. Shifting to Clemson, Notre Dame fell in doubles again and only Spence and freshman Ally Bojczuk pulled away with wins.

“I thought we played well during the two matches over last weekend,” Irish head coach Jay Louderback said. “We lost 5-2 to Georgia Tech, who is ranked No. 3, and one match was lost in three sets. Clemson, we had the same result, lost 5-2, but lost 7-6 in third doubles. It was a tight competition. The energy level in both matches was high, so we were happy with that.”

Facing Georgia Tech, junior Rachel Chong and sophomore Bess Waldram fell 6-3 on court No. 3 to senior Johnnise Renaud and sophomore Nami Otsuka. On court No. 1 the point was clinched, despite the strong effort from freshman Cameron Corse and Spence, who fell 6-4 to senior Paige Hourigan and sophomore Kenya Jones. Bojczuk and senior Allison Miller were behind 5-2 on court two against freshmen Ida Jarlskog and Victoria Flores before play was suspended. Spence and Dunleavy were the only ones able to walk away victorious due to their single results.

Moving on to Clemson on Easter Sunday, the Tigers quickly put on pressure during doubles. The duo of juniors Marie Leduc and Fernanda Navarro defeated Corse and Spence on court No. 1, 6-2. Clemson took the doubles point after sophomores Sydney Riley and Tate Schroeder’s 6-4 win over Notre Dame’s Bojczuk and Miller on court No. 2. Despite the pressure, Chong and Waldram had a 5-3 lead on court No. 3 when doubles action ended. Spence pulled her second singles win over the weekend, and Bojczuk improved to 17-5 in singles after her win.

Despite the two losses added to their 10-8 record, Louderback said the experience the team had playing outdoors will benefit it regardless.

“Getting outdoors is good, we’ve only been outside once since spring break, and we know we can’t get outdoors at home,” Louderback said. “We were able to get down early and hit outside on Thursday, and I thought we stepped it up.”

With every match in the ACC conference being a tough one, Louderback said the upcoming weekend will be another challenge facing No. 1 North Carolina and North Carolina State.

“UNC is ranked No. 1 in the country, so once again we are consistently playing a lot of good teams,” Louderback said. “N.C. State will also be a tough, tight match. They are one of the other teams we are seeding with, so it’s a big match we are preparing for.”

The Irish will host North Carolina at the Courtney Tennis Center at 3:30 p.m. Friday, and will have a day before facing North Carolina State at noon at home Sunday.

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About Meagan Bens

Meagan is a junior Visual Communication Design major and Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy minor living in Lyons Hall. She serves as a sports writer and hails from the suburbs of Chicago.

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