Jan. 30, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will face the first in a series of matches against top 30 opponents when the Irish welcome No. 15 Michigan to the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Sunday.
The No. 20 Irish enjoyed a week off after opening the season with doubleheader wins over Western Michigan (6-1) and Detroit (7-0) on January 17. Sunday’s match marks the beginning of a decidedly more difficult stretch of schedule, which includes visits from the Wolverines, No. 8 Stanford and No. 31 Ohio State.
The opener gave the Irish the opportunity to sort out their doubles and singles lineups, testing different combinations in the two back-to-back matches. Sunday, head coach Jay Louderback will be looking for how his young team responds to their first major test of the season, particularly with sophomore Jane Fennelly and freshman Allison Miller, who will be starting in the singles lineup.
“(Michigan is) very good at the top of their lineup,” Louderback said. “Their top three players are three of the top five in our region. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢’Â¬Â¦ it’s going to be a really good chance for the top of our lineup to see how good we are. It’s a good challenges for us because they’re as good a team in the country at one, two and three as there is.”
The Wolverines boast the top three singles players in the Midwest region with Emina Bektas (ITA No. 18), Ronit Yurovsky (ITA No. 23) and Sarah Lee (ITA No. 38) taking the top spots. Their No. 1 doubles duo of Bektas and Alex Najarian are also tops in the region.
The Irish will counter with junior Quinn Gleason and sophomore Monica Robinson at the top of the singles lineup. The pair, who also make up the Irish No. 1 doubles team, rank sixth and seventh in the region, respectively, at singles, and second in doubles (ITA No. 16).
Michigan enters the weekend 2-0, with wins over Yale and Tulsa in the ITA Kick-Off Weekend. The Wolverines will host Tennessee on Saturday before making the trip to South Bend.
The match between the Irish and Wolverines will begin at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The match will be streamed live on WatchND, and live stats will be available. For live updates, be sure to follow the Irish on Twitter, @NDWomensTennis, and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.
By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant