Senior Julie Vrabel

Irish Insights: Illinois Midwest Blast

Nov. 5, 2015

By Joanne Norell

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will head to Illinois this weekend to take part in the Illinois Midwest Blast, the penultimate fall tournament before the Irish begin dual match play in January.

WHAT: Illinois Midwest Blast
WHO: Notre Dame, Illinois, Purdue, Missouri
WHERE: Atkins Tennis Center – Urbana, Ill.
WHEN: Nov. 6-8, 2015
TWITTER: @NDWomensTennis
Live Stats | Live Video

Blast Breakdown
The Illinois Midwest Blast will be played in a hidden dual match format with four participating teams: Notre Dame, Illinois, Purdue and Missouri. Play will begin at 9 a.m. ET on Friday with doubles and singles play and will continue through Sunday. The Irish will send seven players to Illinois, with seniors Quinn Gleason and Julie Vrabel, juniors Jane Fennelly and Mary Closs, sophomores Brooke Broda and Allison Miller and freshman Rachel Chong slated to make the trip.

Irish Schedule of Play
All Times ET
10 a.m. – vs. Purdue (doubles)
11 a.m. – vs. Missouri (doubles)
3:30 p.m. – vs. Illinois (singles)
10 a.m. – vs. Purdue (singles)
12:30 p.m. – vs. Illinois (doubles)
10 a.m. – vs. Missouri (singles)

Fall Progress
The Irish have four players with winning singles records so far this fall: sophomore Brooke Broda (3-1), freshman Rachel Chong (3-2), senior Quinn Gleason (3-2) and junior Monica Robinson (2-1). When the Irish last competed at the ITA Midwest Regional Championships two weekends ago, Gleason led the Irish by advancing to the Round of 16 in the singles competition. She also owns a 2-1 record against ranked opponents. Sophomore Allison Miller owns a 2-2 singles record, with a 1-0 mark against ranked players. Mary Closs and Miller are 3-3 as a doubles squad, while Gleason and Robinson are 1-1 on the doubles court, but have not played since the ITA All-American Championships in early October as Robinson recovers from an injury.

Rankings Update
Both senior Quinn Gleason and junior Monica Robinson enter the 2015-16 season ranked in the Oracle/ITA singles and doubles preseason polls. The pair come in at No. 10 in the doubles rankings after posting a 22-9 overall record last season, including a 14-6 mark in dual play and a bid to the NCAA Doubles Championship last spring. In singles, Gleason enters the season at No. 93 having recorded a 13-13 mark in the No. 1 singles spot last season, while Robinson comes in tied for 114th with a 16-14 overall record in 2014-15. Both student-athletes were honored by the ACC last season, with Gleason earning second team all-conference honors and Robinson being named to the league’s third team.

To keep up with all things Irish women’s tennis, be sure to follow @NDWomensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.


Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant 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 and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 2013.