March 15, 2017
By Joanne Norell
RICHMOND, Va. — Playing on the road against a nationally ranked opponent is no easy task but, like in most tough situations the Notre Dame women’s tennis team has found itself in this season, the Irish battled until coming away with a victory.
Facing a fierce opponent in No. 43 William & Mary, the 34th-ranked Irish withstood the Tribe’s challenge in singles and came away with a 5-2 win to assemble their best winning streak since 2010.
How It Happened
The Irish (13-1) opened the match with doubles wins at the No. 2 and 3 positions. Senior Jane Fennelly and freshman Zoe Spence opened with a dominating 6-1 win over Natalia Perry and Cecily Wuenscher, while juniors Allison Miller and Brooke Broda clinched the point with a 6-4 decision over Ekaterina Stepanova and Olivia Thaler.
The Irish took a 2-0 lead thanks to a 6-1, 6-3 victory by sophomore Rachel Chong over Olivia Thaler at the No. 6 spot.
Miller put the Irish back on top, defeating Lauren Goodman 6-2, 7-6(3) at the No. 3 position while Broda and Spence battled in third sets in their respective matches. It was ultimately Broda who clinched for the Irish, dominating in the final set to defeat Marie Faure 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Spence wrapped up the victory with her own, winning her final three games to defeat Perry 2-6, 7-5, 7-5.
- The Irish improved to 13-1 on the season, which is the program’s best start since beginning the 2009 season 14-1. The 2009 team finished the season with a 28-5 record and reached the semifinal of the NCAA Championship.
- Notre Dame’s current 10-match winning streak (Feb. 12-present) is its best since the 2010 season, when the Irish won 11 consecutive decisions from April 5-May 22, 2010.
- Freshman Zoe Spence picked up her 13th dual singles win of the season, which leads the team. She is 18-5 in singles going back to the fall.
- Junior Allison Miller improved to 12-2 on the season, which is second on the team behind Spence’s 13-2 record.
- Sophomore Rachel Chong improved to 8-2 on the year.
The Irish return to ACC action on Friday when they take on No. 23 Wake Forest (11-3, 2-1 ACC) at 4 p.m. ET at the Wake Forest Tennis Complex in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
No. 34 Notre Dame 5, No. 43 William & Mary 2
March 15, 2017
Millie West Tennis Facility
1. Ekaterina Stepanova (WM) def. Monica Robinson (ND), 6-2, 7-6(4)
2. Brooke Broda (ND) def. Marie Faure (WM) 4-6, 6-4, 6-2
3. Allison Miller (ND) def. Lauren Goodman (WM) 6-2, 7-6(3)
4. Zoe Spence (ND) def. Natalia Perry (WM) 2-6, 7-5, 7-5
5. Rose Cheng (WM) def. Mary Closs (ND) 7-6(7), 6-1
6. Rachel Chong (ND) def. Olivia Thaler (WM) 6-1, 6-3
1. Monica Robinson / Mary Closs (ND) vs. Marie Faure / Lauren Goodman (WM) 4-5, unfinished
2. Allison Miller / Brooke Broda (ND) def. Ekaterina Stepanova / Olivia Thaler (WM) 6-4
3. Jane Fennelly / Zoe Spence (ND) def. Natalia Perry / Cecily Wuenscher (WM) 6-1
— ND —
Joanne Norell, athletics communications assistant director 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, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communication, and earned her master’s degree in sports industry management from Georgetown University in 2013.