Feb. 14, 2015
URBANA, Ill. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team earned its first road win of the season Saturday with a 5-2 victory over No. 44 Illinois at the Atkins Tennis Center.
The match was closer than the final score, as four singles matches went to third sets. Head coach Jay Louderback sensed nerves among his team, but Notre Dame’s three final singles players played well down the stretch to help push the Irish over the top.
“We did get the W but I felt like we played with a little bit more nerves (than we have played with to date),” Louderback said. “We made some matches close and I think that was about nerves, but our last three came up and played really well down the stretch and it was good to get the win like that.”
The 20th-ranked Irish won the doubles point as No.14 Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson dispatched Melissa Kosinski and Louise Kwong, 6-1, at No. 1 doubles, and Allison Miller and Julie Vrabel defeated Jerricka Boone and Jade Hilton, 6-4, at No. 2.
Things tightened up as the match swung to singles play, though Mary Closs earned a quick 6-0, 6-4 victory in the No. 4 slot over Boone. Louderback thought going up 2-0 was important in spurring the Irish later in the match.
“I think the doubles were very important,” Louderback said. “(Gleason and Robinson) have been playing well, (and) we didn’t give (Illinois) a chance at one doubles. I think Mary coming in and winning in straight sets at four really helped us and I think it was good getting ahead 2-0.”
Illinois picked up two points as Vrabel fell in three sets at No. 3, and Quinn Gleason dropped a close match to Alexis Casati, 7-6, 7-5, at No. 1.
Robinson put the Irish back on top with a three-set win over Louise Kwong, 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 at No. 2 singles. The sophomore is now 4-2 on the season and has won her last two matches.
Miller notched a comeback at No. 5 singles to clinch the win for the Irish, defeating Hilton 3-6, 6-4, 6-3. The win ended a three-match losing streak for the freshman and helped move the Irish to 4-2 on the season. Sophomore Jane Fennelly completed the day for the Irish at No. 6 singles, pulling out a 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5) win over Grace Tapak.
The Irish return to action at 11 a.m. ET Sunday against No. 52 Indiana at the IU Tennis Center in Bloomington. For the latest on the Irish, follow @NDWomensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.
Notre Dame 5, Illinois 2
1. Alexis Casati (ILL) def. Quinn Gleason (ND), 7-6(5), 7-5
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Louise Kwong (ILL), 6-1, 4-6, 6-4
3. Melissa Kosinski (ILL) def. Julie Vrabel (ND), 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Jerricka Boone (ILL), 6-0, 6-4
5. Allison Miller (ND) def. Jade Hilton (ILL), 3-6, 6-4, 6-3
6. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Grace Tapak (ILL), 7-5, 3-6, 7-6(5)
1. No. 14 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) def. Melissa Kopinski / Louise Kwong (ILL), 6-1
2. Allison Miller / Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Jerricka Boone / Jade Hilton (ILL), 6-4
3. Grace Tapak / Alexis Casati (ILL) def. Mary Closs / Jane Fennelly (ND), 6-3
By Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant