Jan. 31, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The No. 33 University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team found its footing in the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader, defeating No. 53 Illinois 5-2 at the Eck Tennis Pavilion to stop a two-match losing streak.
The Illini (3-2) claimed the doubles point after three close matches. Jerricka Boone and Madie Baillon first took a 6-3 decision from sophomores Allison Miller and Brooke Broda after the Irish pair had evened the set at 3-all, but No. 32-ranked Irish duo Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson claimed a 6-3 win over Louise Kwong and Ines Vias on Court 1 to level the plain. Junior Mary Closs and senior Julie Vrabel played Alexis Casati and Daniela Pedraza Novak to a 6-all tie, but fell 7-6(5) after trading leads through much of the breaker.
Notre Dame (2-2) got three quick singles wins to wrest the momentum away from Illinois. Robinson made quick work of Kwong with a 6-2, 6-3 win at the No. 2 slot, while the 57th-ranked Gleason defeated Casati 6-3, 6-0 at No. 1 to put the Irish ahead. Miller upended No. T-114 Boone 6-2, 6-3 at No. 3 to widen the margin.
The final three matches stretched on, and the Illini got a point back as Baillon defeated junior Jane Fennelly in three sets 6-3, 3-6, 6-1 on Court 6. Broda nearly clinched the win when she took Novak to match point in the second set on Court 5, but Novak forced a tiebreaker and, then, a third set. Closs would clinch the match for the Irish, winning 7-5, 7-5 over Vias at No. 4 to put the Irish up 4-2.
Broda and Novak exchanged leads throughout the 10-point match tiebreak, with Novak taking an 8-6 lead. Broda rallied to tie it at 9, then captured the final two points to win 6-3, 6-7(3), 11-9.
The Irish will return to the court at 5 p.m. ET to face Bowling Green (1-3) in the nightcap.
No. 33 Notre Dame 5, No. 53 Illinois 2
1. No. 57 Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Alexis Casati (UI) 6-3, 6-0
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Louise Kwong (UI) 6-2, 6-3
3. Allison Miller (ND) def. No. T-114 Jerricka Boone (UI), 6-2, 6-3
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Ines Vias (UI) 7-5, 7-5
5. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Daniela Pedraza Novak (UI) 6-3, 6-7(3), 11-9
6. Madie Baillon (UI) def. Jane Fennelly (ND) 6-3, 3-6, 6-1
1. No. 32 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) def. Louise Kwong / Ines Vias (UI) 6-3
2. Jerricka Boone / Madie Baillon (UI) def. Allison Miller / Brooke Broda (ND) 6-3
3. Alexis Casati / Daniela Pedraza Novak (UI) def. Mary Closs / Julie Vrabel (ND) 7-6(5)
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.