Feb. 22, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team earned its fourth straight victory Wednesday hosting the Purdue Boilermakers at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish defeated the Boilers 5-2 in a match that featured six seven-point sets, four set tiebreakers and two three-set matches.
How It Happened
The Boilermakers won the first doubles match, but the Irish withstood Purdue runs on the other courts to claim the point. After senior Monica Robinson and junior Brooke Broda fell 6-3 at No. 1, senior Mary Closs and junior Allison Miller defeated Natalia Davila and Rafaella Baquerizo 6-4 after going up 5-1 at the No. 2 slot. On Court 3, sophomore Rachel Chong and freshman Zoe Spence led 5-2 before Alex Sabe and Marta Ruedas tied the match at 5-all, but the Irish duo snared the final two games to sew up the point for Notre Dame.
It was the same story in singles as the overcame tight sets to win on three courts.
Closs gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead with a 6-1, 7-5 win over Caitlin Calkins at No. 5 singles, followed by a 6-2, 6-2 win by Spence over Deborah Suarez at the No. 4 position. Spence’s win was her eighth of the season with the freshman remaining undefeated.
Broda clinched the win for the Irish with a 6-3, 7-6(2) victory over Andjela Djokovic on Court 2 and was followed immediately by a 7-6(2), 6-3 win by Miller over Baquerizo on Court 3.
Both Robinson and Chong came back to force third sets after losing the first set on their respective courts. Robinson eventually fell to Sabe in a 4-6, 7-5, 4-10 decision, while Chong also fell in a 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 loss to Natalia Davila.
At 7-1, the Irish are off to their best start since 2010, when they opened the season with a 12-1 mark and finished the year 26-4.
Coach Jay Louderback’s Thoughts
On withstanding Purdue’s runsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“Purdue’s record is not very good, but they are good. They’re very talented and have some very good freshman who were play at No. 1 and No. 3 (singles) today. I think they’re very talented and they’ve just lost some tight matches this year. I feel like the doubles was key and very good for us to start up on them. Both doubles matches that we won, we were up controlling and we let them back in, but we finished them off. We’ve been competing very well in matches and I thought we did tonight.”
On winning tight matches so far this seasonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦
“I feel like, especially in singles, everybody has been contributing. Everyone who’s been out on the court has competed the right way. It makes it much easier when you have more than one doing it. Monica and Rachel both lost tonight, but they both lost first sets and came back and won seconds and got back into it. If you play the first set out, it could have been a little bit different, too, so it was good.”
The Irish will return to the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Saturday, hosting the Michigan State Spartans and Bowling Green Falcons at 10 a.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET, respectively.
Notre Dame 5, Purdue 2
February 22, 2017
Eck Tennis Pavilion
1. Alex Sabe (PU) def. Monica Robinson (ND) 3-6, 7-5, 10-4
2. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Andjela Djokovic (PU) 6-3, 7-6(2)
3. No. 118 Allison Miller (ND) def. Rafaella Baquerizo (PU) 7-6(2), 6-3
4. Zoe Spence (ND) def. Deborah Suarez (PU) 6-2, 6-2
5. Mary Closs ND) def. Caitlin Calkins (PU) 6-1, 7-5
6. Natalia Davila (PU) def. Rachel Chong (ND) 6-2, 6-7(5), 10-8
1. Andjela Djokovic / Nicole Robinson (PU) def. Brooke Broda / Monica Robinson (ND) 6-3
2. Mary Closs / Allison Miller (ND) def. Natalia Davila / Rafaella Baquerizo (PU) 6-4
3. Rachel Chong / Zoe Spence (ND) def. Alex Sabe / Marta Ruedas (PU) 7-5
— 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.