Sept. 27, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Despite a slow start for the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team in doubles play on day two of the Notre Dame Invitational, the Irish finished with a strong set of results in the singles competition during the afternoon session.
“I thought we could have played a little better in doubles today. We played two doubles matches yesterday and today and I just felt like we weren’t very aggressive out there,” head coach Jay Louderback said. “We’ve been working on a number of things like crossing and we just didn’t do too much of that today. I felt we were just mainly standing back and hitting balls and hoping that the other team would make an error. Coming out of today, we just need to be more aggressive and work on that part of our doubles game.”
In the first doubles matches of the day on Saturday, sophomores Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly dropped an 8-6 decision to Louisville’s Olivia Boesing and Aleksandra Mally, while junior Julie Vrabel and senior Katherine White suffered an 8-5 loss to Tess Bernard-Fiegenbaum and Daniela Vidal of Purdue.
One of the most tightly contested doubles matches of the day ended with an Irish win as senior Molly O’Koniewski and freshman Allie Miller held on to beat Jerrica Boone and Jade Hilton of Illinois, 8-7. That proved to be the lone doubles win of the day for the Irish after juniors Alaina Roberts and Darby Mountford lost 8-4 to Tulane’s Jacqui Katz and Naz Karagoz to close out the first round of doubles competition on Saturday morning.
Following a break, Notre Dame earned several close victories in the afternoon session in an attempt to bounce back from those doubles losses.
“In singles, we played pretty well today,” Louderback said. “Our primary focus now is that we just need to play matches. Many of our players didn’t get to play many matches over the summer. It’s so different to play matches than it is to practice and play sets. The biggest part of this weekend for us was to just get some matches and be `match tough’ as we prepare for the rest of the fall and spring.”
Vrabel was the first to finish her singles match as she came away with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Illinois’ Boone. Closs picked up Notre Dame’s second singles win with a straight-set 6-2, 6-2 win over Tulane’s Vanessa Nommensen.
O’Koniewski lost a 6-4, 6-2 decision to Tulane’s Katz in a match that proved to be closer than the final score indicated.
White squared off with Purdue’s Krisztina Kapitany and fell 6-1, 6-2 in her match, while Fennelly dropped a 6-3, 6-3 decision to Elle Stokes of Louisville. Miller fell 6-1, 6-2 to Karagoz of Tulane in her match.
The longest match of the day proved to be a three-set thriller, with Roberts battling Emily Barreta of Illinois. After Roberts took the first set 6-1, Barreta came back to win the second 6-3 and then the tiebreaker 10-6 to earn the victory.
The final day of competition for the Irish begins at 9:00 am on Sunday, with play expected to conclude around 1:00 pm.
Julie Vrabel (Notre Dame) def. Jerrica Boone (Illinois) 6-2, 6-1
Mary Closs (Notre Dame) def. Vanessa Nommensen (Tulane) 6-2, 6-2
Jacqui Katz (Tulane) def. Molly O’Koniewski (Notre Dame) 6-4, 6-2
Allison Miller (Notre Dame) def. Naz Karagoz (Tulane) 6-1, 6-2
Elle Stokes (Louisville) def. Jane Fennelly (Notre Dame) 6-3, 6-3
Krisztina Kapitany (Purdue) def. Katherine White (Notre Dame) 6-1, 6-2
Emily Barreta (Illinois) def. Alaina Roberts (Notre Dame) 1-6, 6-3, 10-6*
* – tiebreak
Krisztina Kapitany and Nicole Robinson (Purdue) def. Molly O’Koniewski and Allie Miller (ND) 8-5