Jan. 19, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team kicked the spring dual season off in style Tuesday with dominating performances punctuating a convincing 7-0 victory over Western Michigan at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The 33rd-ranked Irish won at every lineup position, making quick work of the visiting Broncos, who entered Tuesday’s match with a 2-0 record.
“I think we played really well,” sophomore Allison Miller said. “We held serve across all three doubles courts, which was huge for us. In singles, some of us came out a little tight, but we did a really good job of working our way back into it and eventually got the sweep. It was a really good job by everyone on all six courts.”
The Irish earned a clean sweep of the doubles matches, with wins at all three positions. No. 32 Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson kickstarted the Irish with a blanking of Tracy Kuhle and Melina Lyubomirova on Court 1, while sophomore duo Brooke Broda and Miller defeated Barbare Eristavi and Olivia Myers 6-2 on Court 2. Juniors Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly completed the sweep with a 6-4 win over Meika Ashby and Denise Azcui.
From there, it was quick succession of singles wins to clinch the match for the Irish. No. 57 Gleason breezed past Myers 6-1, 6-0 at the No. 1 slot, while Miller quickly followed with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Eristavi at No. 3. Senior Julie Vrabel clinched the match soon after, defeating Azcui 6-3, 6-2 from the No. 6 slot.
With the match in hand, the Irish got a couple of gutsy wins from a pair of juniors, as Robinson clawed back to defeat Lyubomirova at No. 2 after dropping the second set, 6-2, 5-7, 10-4. At No. 4, Closs got a hard-fought victory over her own, winning 7-6(10), 6-3 over Kuhle after facing a 1-4 deficit in the first set. Broda rounded out the Irish sweep with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Katja Fevralev at the No. 5 slot.
The Irish (1-0) return to action Saturday in the first round of the ITA Kickoff Weekend against host No. 12 Oklahoma State (3-0). The Irish will then face either No. 26 Northwestern or No. 27 Arizona State on Sunday.
“This match was really important because [on Saturday] we’re playing Oklahoma State, which could be a really big win for us,” Miller said. “Getting this experience, hitting some balls and putting some points together will help us be ready for that one.”
No. 33 Notre Dame 7, Western Michigan 0
1. No 57 Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Olivia Myers (WMU) 6-1, 6-0
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Melina Lyubomirova (WMU) 6-2, 5-7, 10-4
3. Allison Miller (ND) def. Barbare Eristavi (WMU) 6-0, 6-2
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Tracy Kuhle (WMU) 7-6(10), 6-3
5. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Katja Fevralev (WMU) 6-4, 6-4
6. Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Denise Azcui (WMU) 6-3, 6-2
1. No. 32 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) def. Tracy Kuhle / Melina Lyubomirova (WMU) 6-0
2. Brooke Broda / Allison Miller (ND) def. Barbare Eristavi / Olivia Myers (WMU) 6-2
3. Mary Closs / Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Meika Ashby / Denise Azcui (WMU) 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.