Feb. 20, 2016
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 32 University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team closed out its non-conference season Saturday, dominating its second straight Big Ten opponent at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish defeated No. 59 Indiana 6-1, following a 6-1 victory over No. 47 Purdue on Wednesday. Notre Dame moved to 3-1 against Big Ten foes this season.
The Irish took a quick lead as the 15th-ranked duo of Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson swiftly upended Natalie Whalen and Sarah McLean at the No. 1 slot, but the remaining doubles matches were hotly contested.
On Court 2, Mary Closs and Julie Vrabel led 4-1, but Indiana’s Kim Schmider and Stephanie Smith fought back to tie it at 4-4 and, then, 6-6 to force a tiebreaker. On Court 3, Jane Fennelly and Allison Miller traded points back and forth with Danielle Wolf and Madison Appel until it was 4-4. Fennelly and Miller held serve to make it 5-4, then won the set on the break 6-4 to give the Irish the doubles point. Though the Irish picked up the point, the match on Court 2 was played to completion, which Schmider and Smith won 7-6(2).
Closs gave the Irish a boost with the first singles decision of the match, sweeping past Smith in a 6-3, 6-1 decision at the No. 4 slot. Soon after, the 44th-ranked Gleason used a dominating second set over Appel to give the Irish a 3-0 lead with her 7-5, 6-1 victory.
The remaining matches stretched into third sets, but sophomore Brooke Broda finally clinched the match for the Irish by coming back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 over Whalen on Court 5. A minute later, Robinson secured a comeback win of her own, upending Paula Gutierrez 5-7, 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 2 slot to give the Irish a 5-0 lead.
Fennelly picked up Notre Dame’s final point in a back-and-forth 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win over Wolf at No. 6.
Indiana got its only point in the final match as McLean defeated Miller 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 on Court 3.
The Irish (6-3, 1-0 Atlantic Coast Conference) will return to action against Louisville (6-3, 0-1 ACC) at 2 p.m. ET Sunday when they return to ACC play for the remainder of the season. The match will follow the Irish men’s tennis team’s match against Kentucky and precede the men’s match against Western Michigan.
No. 32 Notre Dame 6, No. 59 Indiana 1
1. No. 44 Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Madison Appel (IU) 7-5, 6-1
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Paula Gutierrez (IU) 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
3. Sarah McLean (IU) def. Allison Miller (ND) 2-6, 7-6(5), 10-8
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Stephanie Smith (IU) 6-3, 6-1
5. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Natalie Whalen (IU) 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
6. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Danielle Wolf (IU) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3
1. No. 15 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) def. Natalie Whalen / Sarah McLean (IU) 6-1
2. Kim Schmider / Stephanie Smith (IU) def. Mary Closs / Julie Vrabel (ND) 7-6(2)
3. Jane Fennelly / Allison Miller (ND) def. Danielle Wolf / Madison Appel (IU) 6-4
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.