March 27, 2015
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team played its most complete match of the season — and saved head coach Jay Louderback from suffering any additional stress — as the No. 36 Irish dispatched North Carolina State 6-1 in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish won at all but No. 4 singles to cruise to their most decisive ACC win to date, jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the team score to easily secure the win.
“That was good, because we haven’t had that,” Louderback said. “It’s probably even better for me than it is for them (from a stress standpoint). We finished it quickly and we haven’t seen one of those for quite a while.”
In the doubles portion of the match, 20th-ranked Quinn Gleason and Monica Robinson quickly wrapped up an 8-1 victory over Sophie Nelson and Nicole Martinez. Gleason and Robinson picked up the first three games without surrendering a point, then took a 7-0 lead before dropping a game.
The Irish continued to cruise as singles play commenced, with all five wins impressing Louderback as second-set play improved upon the first. Robinson dropped Fieldsend 6-3, 6-2 in a quick win on Court 2, while Gleason next wrapped up a 6-2, 6-1 win over Joanna Nalborska on Court 1. Allison Miller finished off Nelson 6-3, 6-1 at the No. 5 slot, then Julie Vrabel downed Elisha Hande 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3.
The day’s only real suspense came on Court 6, as Fenelly and Tayla Stenta were locked in a 6-6 tie in the first set even as every other match was completed. Down 6-5, Fennelly served to force the tiebreaker, then cruised past Stenta to take the first set, 7-6(4). The second set was much less tight, and Fennelly walked away with a 7-6(4), 6-3 victory.
Vrabel said having a match in which each player played well would be a confidence-building tool for the Irish.
“I think confidence is a huge thing, especially against ACC teams,” Vrabel said. “They’re all really good and every ACC match is really challenging for us, so it’s really good for us to win. For all of us to come out here and play well is great for our confidence going into tougher matches later on this season.”
The Irish welcome former BIG EAST rival Marquette to the Eck Tennis Pavilion for a noon EDT match on Sunday (9-7). 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 6, North Carolina State 1
1. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Joanna Nalborska (NCST), 6-2, 6-1
2. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Liza Fieldsend (NCST), 6-3, 6-2
3. Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Elisha Hande (NCST), 6-3, 6-2
4. Nicole Martinez (NCST) def. Mary Closs (ND), 6-2, 6-2
5. Allison Miller (ND) def. Sophie Nelson (NCST), 6-3, 6-1
6. Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Tayla Stenta (NCST), 7-6(4), 6-3
1. No. 20 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) def. Sophie Nelson / Nicole Martinez (NCST), 8-1
2. Allison Miller / Julie Vrabel (ND) v. Elisha Hande / Joanna Nalborska (NCST), 7-3, unfinished
3. Mary Closs / Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Liza Fieldsend / Natalia Janowicz (NCST), 8-6
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant