March 29, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — It was an affirming weekend for the No. 36 University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team, which picked up a two-match sweep in its last true homestand of the season.
The Irish (12-6) defeated Marquette (10-8) 7-0 on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, building off their 6-1 victory over North Carolina State on Friday. The win gave the Irish their fourth victory in five matches and ensured the Irish a winning record with just five matches remaining in the regular season.
“We’ve been playing really well,” head coach Jay Louderback said. “We’ve been in so many tight matches all year and we’ve had very, very few matches where it wasn’t tight. I thought it was a good weekend for us to do well and win quickly. It took pressure off the ones playing because we won both matches pretty fast.”
The Irish claimed the doubles point despite playing without their top duo in Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson at the top of the lineup, as Gleason stayed out of the doubles lineup and Robinson teamed with Katherine White at the No. 3 slot. Playing up a spot on Court 2, Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly dominated Marquette’s Ali Dawson and Aleeza Kanner for an 8-2 win. Robinson and White wrapped up the point on Court 3, notching an 8-4 victory over Paula Tormos Sanchez and Diana Tokar.
The Irish rolled from there.
Notre Dame won all six singles matches in straight sets. Julie Vrabel got things started with a swift 6-0, 6-0 win over Tokar on Court 3, while Closs locked down a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Dawson on Court 4. Next, Robinson completed a 6-0, 6-3 win over Gebes at No. 2 — clinching the Irish victory as Notre Dame took a 4-0 lead. It was the fourth win in a row for Robinson, who had lost four of five prior to her current winning streak.
“I’ve tried to remain positive and see those matches as something to prepare me and make me stronger overall,” Robinson said. “I think the best thing when you have a few losses is you have the right mindset, look at them with perspective and just keep moving forward.”
Allison Miller picked up a 6-2, 6-1 win over Tormos at No. 5 while, nearly simultaneously, Fennelly wrapped up a 6-1, 6-0 education of Vanessa Foltinger at No. 6.
Finally, Gleason, who returned to play atop the singles lineup for Notre Dame, completed the sweep for the Irish, downing Ana Pimienta 6-3, 6-2 on Court 1.
In Louderback’s estimation, Notre Dame played its strongest in singles matches in its last two matches, a departure from previous matches where the Irish doubles pairs have shined brightest. He views that singles play as a good sign of things to come as the Irish prepare to face some tough opponents in the next few weeks.
“We’d been winning in doubles and sometimes had trouble getting three singles matches, so it was good and I really think we played well in every match,” Louderback said.
“I think it was really nice to get these two Ws,” Robinson said of completing a sweep of this weekend’s matches. “We’ve played a couple of tough matches against Virginia and North Carolina and I think those matches have just prepared us for these and we know how to take care of business.”
Notre Dame heads back on the road next weekend with trips to Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. The Irish will face the Demon Deacons at noon EDT on Friday in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and take on the Hokies at noon EDT on Sunday in Blacksburg, Virginia. For the latest on all Irish women’s tennis action, follow @NDWomensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.
No. 36 Notre Dame 7, Marquette 0
1. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Ana Pimienta (MU), 6-3, 6-2
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Erin Gebes (MU), 6-0. 6-3
3. Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Diana Tokar (MU), 6-0, 6-0
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Ali Dawson (MU), 6-1, 6-3
5. Allison Miller (ND) def. Paula Tormos Sanchez (MU), 6-2, 6-1
6. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Vanessa Foltinger (MU), 6-1, 6-0
1. Allison Miller / Julie Vrabel (ND) vs. Ana Pimienta / Erin Gebes (MU), 4-4, unfinished
2. Mary Closs / Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Ali Dawson / Aleeza Kanner (MU), 8-2
3. Monica Robinson / Katherine White (ND) def. Paula Tormos Sanchez / Diana Tokar (MU), 8-4
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant