April 5, 2015
BLACKSBURG, Va. — What looked to be shaping up as a sure win for the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team quickly turned into a nailbiter as the No. 40 Irish took on No. 34 Virginia Tech at the Burrows-Burleson Tennis Center in Blacksburg on Sunday. But as the Irish got most of their scoring from the younger members of their lineup early, it was a veteran presence that made the difference in a 4-3 victory over the Atlantic Coast Conference rival Hokies.
As matches on Courts 1, 2 and 3 headed to third sets during singles play, the Irish (14-6, 8-3 ACC) found their 3-1 lead was less secure than it appeared, and as the Hokies inched within 3-2 after Monica Robinson fell at No. 2 and the final two matches went into tiebreakers, the lead became more precarious still. But as Julie Vrabel dropped a 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(5) decision to Elena Cerezo-Codina at No. 3, Quinn Gleason remained unfazed.
The Irish junior rallied from a one-set deficit and only grew stronger as her match with No. 106 Ilinca Stoica wore on, and with all eyes on Court 1, Gleason delivered a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) victory to give Notre Dame its sixth win in seven matches.
The Irish needed to complete just two doubles matches to secure the doubles point, as Allison Miller and Vrabel defeated Caroline Daxhelet and Kelly Williford (VT) 8-3 at the No. 2 slot and Mary Closs and Jane Fennelly snagged an 8-6 victory over Cerezo-Codina and Sansitha Nandakumar at No. 3. On Court 1, No. 20 Gleason and Robinson trailed Raluca Mita and Stoica 7-6, but the match went unfinished.
Notre Dame easily took the next two points as Closs and Miller notched quick wins on Courts 4 and 5, respectively. Closs upended Daxhelet 6-2, 6-3, while Miller cruised by Mita 6-2, 6-1 and the Irish led 3-0.
The Hokies got a point back on Court 6 as Katherine Butler defeated Fennelly 6-4, 6-0, and it appeared to kick-start a Hokie run. Despite winning the first set, Robinson couldn’t hold on against reigning ACC Player of the Week, No. 86 Francesca Fusinato, and fell 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Vrabel rallied after dropping the first set, but fell to Cerezo-Codina in the tiebreaker, leaving Gleason and Stoica on Court 1.
It was Gleason’s fourth singles win in a row, and the second time this season she locked up a 4-3 win for the Irish in the final match on the court. The last time came against Boston College on March 15, and Gleason also rallied after losing the first set and won the match in a tiebreaker.
The Irish return to action at 3:30 p.m. EDT on Friday when they welcome No. 16 Miami to the Courtney Tennis Center. For the latest on all Irish women’s tennis action, follow@NDWomensTennis on Twitter and like Notre Dame Women’s Tennis on Facebook.
No. 40 Notre Dame 4, No. 34 Virginia Tech 3
1. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. No. 106 Ilinca Stoica (VT), 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4)
2. No. 86 Francesca Fusinato (VT) def. Monica Robinson (ND), 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
3. Elena Cerezo-Codina (VT) def. Julie Vrabel (ND), 6-1, 2-6, 7-6(5)
4. Mary Closs (ND) def. Caroline Daxhelet (VT), 6-2, 6-3
5. Allison Miller (ND) def. Raluca Mita (VT), 6-2, 6-1
6. Katherine Butler (VT) def. Jane Fennelly (ND), 6-4, 6-0
1. No. 20 Quinn Gleason / Monica Robinson (ND) vs. Raluca Mita / Ilinca Stoica, 6-7, unfinished
2. Allison Miller / Julie Vrabel (ND) def. Caroline Daxhelet / Kelly Williford (VT), 8-3
3. Mary Closs / Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Elena Cerezo-Codina / Sansitha Nandakumar (VT), 8-6
Joanne Norell, Media Relations Assistant