Sophomore Mary Closs won at both singles and doubles to help lift the Irish over Syracuse.

Depth Lifts No. 26 Irish Over Syracuse, 5-2

Feb. 27, 2015

Box Score

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The 26th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team won its third match in a row for the first time this season, defeating No. 34 Syracuse 5-2 on Friday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

Once again, the Irish got strong play from the bottom of both doubles and singles lineups, helping the Irish to an undefeated start in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“I think in the ACC matches especially, it’s been pretty important for the bottom of our lineup to stay tough because all of the ACC has really good players at the top of their lineup,” said sophomore Mary Closs, who plays No. 4 singles for the Irish. “I think we have good depth, so that helps us a lot through all of our matches.”

The Irish (7-3, 3-0 ACC) picked up the doubles win, with Closs and Jane Fennelly clinching the point on Court 3. No. 21 Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson cruised to victory in the No. 1 slot, defeating Amanda Rodgers and Nicole Mitchell, 8-2, but Allison Miller and Julie Vrabel fell on Court 2, 8-5, after leading in the set, 5-2. Closs and Fennelly held off a similar surge from Breanna Bachini and Rhiann Newborn, prevailing 8-6.

The Orange (5-4, 0-3 ACC) picked up a point when Robinson retired on Court 2, but the Irish got two back as Closs and Fennelly cruised to straight-set victories on Courts 4 and 6, respectively. Closs defeated Safdar, 6-4, 6-0, while Fennelly dispatched Olivia Messineo, 6-2, 6-0.

On the odd courts, Notre Dame lost each first set. Vrabel fell to Newborn, 6-3, 6-3, but Gleason stormed back for what turned into a dominating 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Rodgers at the top of the lineup to clinch the match. On Court 5, Miller earned a win by default to end the night.

“Mary and Jane had quick wins, which really helped us and got us to 3 (points) quickly,” head coach Jay Louderback said. “Quinn and Allie did an unbelievable job coming back. For Quinn to win one-on-one over Rodgers was really good, especially indoors.

“I told them afterward, any win you get in the ACC is a good win. I don’t care who it is. Syracuse is 34th, but there’s not a bad team in the ACC. Every match is going to be close, but every win is a good win.”

The Irish hope to corral the momentum at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday when they welcome No. 5 Virginia. The Leprechaun Legion will serve waffles for brunch to those in attendance. For the latest on all Irish women’s tennis action, follow @NDWomensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.

No. 26 Notre Dame 5, No. 34 Syracuse 2
1. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Amanda Rodgers (SU), 4-6, 6-1, 6-1
2. Valeria Salazar (SU) def. Monica Robinson (ND), 6-1, ret.
3. Rhiann Newborn (SU) def. Julie Vrabel (ND), 6-3, 6-3
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Komal Safdar (SU), 6-4, 6-0
5. Allison Miller (ND) def. Breanna Bachini (SU), 4-6, 6-2, 4-3, ret.
6. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Olivia Messineo (SU), 6-2, 6-0

1. No. 21 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) def. Amanda Rodgers / Nicole Mitchell (SU), 8-2
2. Valeria Salazar / Komal Safdar (SU) def. Allison Miller / Julie Vrabel (ND), 8-5
3. Mary Closs / Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Breanna Bachini / Rhiann Newborn (SU), 8-6

Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant