March 17, 2017
By Joanne Norell
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team has played each game of the 2017 season as if it has something to prove.
The Irish have found ways to win close matches, whether at home or on the road, and have looked erase the memories of recent seasons when one- and two-point matches have not fallen their way.
As if a one-loss record and undefeated conference mark were not an adequate indicator of the talent on head coach Jay Louderback’s team, the No. 34 Irish made an emphatic statement Friday, defeating Atlantic Coast Conference foe and 23rd-ranked Wake Forest at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex.
How It Happened
The Irish (14-1, 5-0 ACC) claimed the doubles point with victories at the first and second positions. Seniors Mary Closs and Monica Robinson picked up the first win, defeating Kimmy Guerin and Anna Ulyashchenko 6-2 on Court 1. Junior duo Brooke Broda and Allison Miller clinched the point with a 6-3 win over Emma Davis and Chandler Carter on Court 2.
The Irish corralled the momentum with first-set wins at five of six singles positions. Notre Dame won the first two decisions to go up 3-0, starting with a 6-1, 6-4 win by Miller over Ulyashchenko and followed by Broda’s 6-3, 6-4 victory over Davis.
The Demon Deacons (11-4, 2-2 ACC) got on the board next as Guerin defeated Robinson in two sets on Court 1, but the Irish bit right back as freshman Zoe Spence defeated Joanna Zalewski 7-6, 6-1 to secure the Irish victory at 4-1.
The remaining two matches were abandoned.
- The Irish improved to 14-1 on the season, which is the program’s best start since beginning the 2009 season 14-1. The 2009 team finished the season with a 28-5 record and reached the semifinal of the NCAA Championship.
- Notre Dame’s current 11-match winning streak (Feb. 12-present) is its best since the 2010 season, when the Irish won 11 consecutive decisions from April 5-May 22, 2010.
- The win over No. 23 Wake Forest was Notre Dame’s first win over a top 25 team since defeating No. 16 Northwestern 4-3 on May 10, 2014 in the second round of the NCAA Championship.
- With their 14th win, the Irish have already matched their win total from last season, when they went 14-14.
- Freshman Zoe Spence picked up her 14th dual singles win of the season, which leads the team. She is 19-5 in singles going back to the fall.
- Junior Allison Miller improved to 13-2 on the season, which is second on the team behind Spence’s 14-1 record.
The Irish return home on Sunday to face ACC foe Virginia (5-5, 3-0 ACC) at noon ET at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
No. 34 Notre Dame 4, No. 23 Wake Forest 1
March 17, 2017
Wake Forest Tennis Complex
1. Kimmy Guerin (WF) def. Monica Robinson (ND) 7-5, 6-4
2. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Emma Davis (WF) 6-3, 6-4
3. Allison Miller (ND) def. Anna Ulyashchenko (WF) 6-1, 6-4
4. Zoe Spence (ND) def. Joanna Zalewski (WF) 7-6, 6-1
5. Mary Closs (ND) vs. Chandler Carter (WF) 7-6(5), 0-6, 2-1, unfinished
6. Rachel Chong (ND) vs. Luisa Fernandez (WF) 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 unfinished
1. Monica Robinson / Mary Closs (ND) def. Kimmy Guerin / Anna Ulyashchenko (WF) 6-2
2. Allison Miller / Brooke Broda (ND) def. Emma Davis / Chandler Carter (WF) 6-3
3. Jane Fennelly / Zoe Spence (ND) vs. Courtney Meredith / Joanna Zalewski (WF) 3-4, unfinished
— ND —
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director at the University of Notre Dame, has been part of the Fighting Irish athletics communications team since 2014 and coordinates communications efforts for the Notre Dame women’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s tennis and fencing programs. Norell is a 2011 graduate of Purdue University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.