ND Women’s Tennis
Irish drop close matchup on the road against Illinois, beat Indiana
Observer Sports Staff | Monday, February 11, 2019
On Friday, the Irish women’s tennis team suffered a 4-3 loss at the hands of Illinois in Champaign. The Fighting Illini (2-3) earned their first win of the season against a Notre Dame (4-2, 1-0 ACC) team which was coming off resounding 6-1 loss at Ohio State.
In doubles, Illinois senior Jaclyn Switkes paired with sophomore teammate Emilee Duong to hand Notre Dame sophomore Ally Bojczuk and junior Bess Waldram a 6-1 defeat. Illinois sophomores Asuka Kawai and Mia Rabinowitz then earned their squad the doubles point by beating Notre Dame senior Rachel Chong and freshman Zoe Taylor, 6-3. Despite their 5-3 advantage over Illinois sophomore Sasha Belaya and senior Dani Pedraza Novak, Notre Dame sophomore Cameron Corse and junior Zoe Spence’s match went unfinished as the Fighting Illini clinched the doubles point before play ended in the third match.
In singles, Corse earned a decisive victory against Novak in two sets, giving the Irish their first point of the night and evening the score to 1-1. Illinois then garnered two straight points to make the score 3-1, as Rabinowitz overtook Notre Dame graduate student Brooke Broda while Illinois sophomore Sasha Belaya earned a close victory against Chong.
Waldram began to mount a comeback for the Irish, fighting hard to beat Duong in three sets and cutting the Fighting Illini lead to one point at 3-2. But it wasn’t enough, and Kawai gave Illinois the match winning point and clinched the win for Fighting Illini after a victory over Spence in three sets. Sophomore Ally Bojczuk landed a consolation point for the Irish with a three set win over Switkes and the day ended with a Notre Dame loss, 4-3.
On Sunday afternoon, the Irish were able to break their two-match losing streak and hold on to a 4-3 victory against Indiana, increasing their win total to four games and narrowly avoiding a losing record on the road.
The Hoosiers (6-2) began the match by securing the doubles point. Senior Madison Appel and sophomore Jelly Bozovic beat Corse and Spence while redshirt junior Caitlin Bernard and senior Natalie Whalen earned a quick victory over Bojczuk and Waldram.
As singles play began, Taylor evened the score at one-all with a two set victory versus Hoosier freshman Somer Henry. Spence then gave the Irish a 2-1 lead with a win against Appel, though Indiana fought back with sophomore Michelle McKamey’s win over Irish freshman Maeve Koscielski in two sets. The Irish retook the lead as Waldram clinched her match by winning a 12-10 tiebreaker in the second set. After losing the first set 6-1 against Bozovic, Notre Dame’s Corse decisively won the next two sets 6-3 to snap her team’s two-match losing streak. Whalen defeated Bojczuk in three sets to give Indiana a final point, and the day ended 4-3 Notre Dame.
The Irish will look to carry their momentum into a five-game home stand at the Eck Tennis Pavilion in the coming weeks. The home series begins against Purdue at 5 p.m. Wednesday, after which point Notre Dame will take on Michigan State, Wright State, Clemson and Syracuse later in the month.