March 31, 2017
By Joanne Norell
BLACKSBURG, Va. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team continued to improve upon its best start to Atlantic Coast Conference play since joining the league, defeating Virginia Tech 4-3 on Friday at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center.
The Irish (16-3) improved to 7-2 in ACC play and strengthened its position in the top third of the conference with five regular-season matches remaining.
How It Happened
The Irish picked up the doubles point, rebounding after losing the first doubles match on Court 1 and winning close matches on the remaining courts. Juniors Brooke Broda and Allison Miller defeated Elena Cereza-Codina and Natalie Novotna 7-6(4) at the No. 2 spot, followed by a 7-5 win by senior Jane Fennelly and freshman Zoe Spence over Nancy Ghanem and Sansitha Nandakumar.
Virginia Tech pulled even with the first decision of doubles. At the No. 1 position, No. 102 Francesca Fusinato defeated senior Monica Robinson 6-3, 6-1.
Robinson’s classmate Mary Closs regained the lead for Notre Dame, though, defeating Ghanem 6-4, 6-2 at No. 5 to improve to 11-3 on the season. Sophomore Rachel Chong extended it at 3-1 with a 7-5, 6-0 victory over Katherine Butler on Court 6.
Cereza-Codina got one back for the Hokies, defeating Miller in three sets, but Spence came through with her 15th victory of the year, winning 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1 over Caroline Daxhelet at the No. 4 spot.
The Hokies tacked on their final point at the end when Novotna downed Broda in three sets on Court 2.
The Irish will get a week off before welcoming Duke at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, April 7, at the Courtney Tennis Center.
No. 27 Notre Dame 4, Virginia Tech 3
March 31, 2017
Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center
1. No. 102 Francesca Fusinato (VT) def. Monica Robinson (ND) 6-3, 6-1
2. No. 92 Natalie Novotna (VT) def. Brooke Broda (ND) 6-1, 6-7(7), 7-6(3)
3. Elena Cereza-Codina (VT) def. Allison Miller (ND) 6-3, 1-6, 6-1
4. Zoe Spence (ND) def. Caroline Daxhelet (VT) 6-7(8), 6-3, 6-1
5. Mary Closs (ND) def. Nancy Ghanem (VT) 6-4, 6-2
6. Rachel Chong (ND) def. Katherine Butler (VT) 7-5, 6-0
1. Francesca Fusinato / Caroline Daxhelet (VT) def. Mary Closs / Monica Robinson (ND) 6-2
2. Brooke Broda / Allison Miller (ND) def. Elena Cereza-Codina / Natalie Novotna (VT) 7-6(4)
3. Jane Fennelly / Zoe Spence (ND) def. Nancy Ghanem / Sansitha Nandakumar (VT) 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.