Jan. 17, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team was strong on Saturday as the No. 20 Irish swept their doubleheader opening day with wins over Western Michigan and Detroit Mercy.
It was a day of impressive performances for head coach Jay Louderback, who went down his lineup citing standouts in Notre Dame’s 6-1 victory over Western Michigan and 7-0 sweep of Detroit. The Irish dropped just three matches on the day, and lost only one point.
“I thought we played well, but I also thought we competed well, especially playing a doubleheader,” Louderback said. “I felt like our kids stayed focused and competed well, which is what we had to do.”
Notre Dame won five of six singles matches and two of three doubles matches in the opener against Western Michigan to win 6-1. Quinn Gleason defeated Meika Ashby at No. 1 singles, 6-3, 6-3, while Monica Robinson cruised to a 6-1, 6-2 win over Olivia Myers at No. 2. At the No. 3 spot, Julie Vrabel beat Barbare Eristavi, 6-1, 6-4, and Allison Miller dropped Tracy Kuhle, 6-1, 6-3 at No. 4. Jane Fennelly also won at the No. 5 over Ella Perinovic, 6-1, 6-1.
The Irish picked up two doubles wins at No. 2 and No. 3. Fennelly and Allison Miller dropped Olivia Myers and Tracy Kuhle, 6-2, while Molly O’Koniewski and Katherine White survived a two-game rally by Eristavi and Perinovic to pull out a 6-4 win.
The Broncos enjoyed an upset at No. 1 doubles, however, with Ashby and Carolina Aleck defeating the 16th-ranked duo of Gleason and Robinson, 6-3. The Irish went down 0-1 in the first game, but rallied to take a 3-2 lead before the Broncos pulled away in the final four games.
With a new doubles format, Louderback was not all that surprised at the upset, noting that can often be the result of just one set of no-ad play, which results in quicker matches.
“There are going to be a lot of upsets this year,” Louderback said. “They took that loss but they both bounced back quickly. They both won fast in singles after that and that’s just something that’s going to happen.”
In the nightcap, the Irish made quick work of Detroit, clinching the 7-0 win within two hours. Gleason cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over Irina Slizovskaya; Robinson dispatched Sash Nionova 6-0, 6-3; Vrabel defeated Valeryia Kulikovskaya 6-1, 6-2; Miller dropped Anna Davydov, 6-1, 6-1; and Molly O’Koniewski battled in the second set to beat Nynke Van Der Goot 6-2, 6-4. In the only match that went to a tiebreaker, Fennelly worked out of a second-set hole to earn a 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 win over Viktoria Laskutova.
The Irish took the doubles point with a pair of wins over the Titans at No. 1 and 2. In the first slot, Miller and Vrabel defeated Nino Sujashvili and Nionova, 6-1, and Gleason paired with Fennelly to beat Kulikovskaya and Slizovskaya, 6-4.
“I think we did really well for our first match,” Robinson said. “Playing two matches in a day is always tough, but I thought we did a good job of staying positive and the energy was just really good, hearing everyone cheer for each other.”
Notre Dame will have a weekend free before welcoming No. 16 Michigan to the Eck Tennis Pavilion on February 1.
Notre Dame 6, Western Michigan 1
1. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Meika Ashby (WMU), 6-3, 6-3
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Olivia Myers (WMU), 6-1, 6-2
3. Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Barbare Eristavi (WMU), 6-1, 6-4
4. Allison Miller (ND) def. Tracy Kuhle (WMU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Ella Perinovic (WMU), 6-1, 6-1
6. Labina Petrovska (WMU) def. Katherine White (ND), 3-6, 6-2, 10-7
Notre Dame 7, Detroit 0
1. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Irina Slizovskaya (DET), 6-1, 6-1
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Sasha Nionova (DET), 6-0, 6-3
3. Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Valeryia Kulikovskaya (DET), 6-1, 6-2
4. Allison Miller (ND) def. Anna Davydova (DET), 6-1, 6-1
5. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Viktoria Laskutova (DET), 6-2, 4-6, 10-8
6. Molly O’Koniewski (ND) def. Nynke Van Der Goot (DET), 6-2, 6-4
By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant