April 9, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. — The fourth-ranked team in the country proved too much for the No. 29 University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team Sunday, as North Carolina (22-2, 8-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) defeat the Irish 7-0 at the Courtney Tennis Center.
The Irish honored its three seniors, Mary Closs, Jane Fennelly and Monica Robinson, prior to the match. The trio have combined to play nearly 600 singles and doubles matches during their four years at Notre Dame.
How It Happened
Despite tight competition for the doubles point, North Carolina came away with the advantage. The Tar Heels won easily on Court 2, but the Irish fought into the late games on Courts 1 and 3 to keep the outcome in doubt. Senior Jane Fennelly and freshman Zoe Spence fought back from being down 1-4 to force a tiebreaker at 6-all at the No. 3 position. At No. 1 seniors Monica Robinson and Mary Closs played top-ranked Hayley Carter and Sara Daavettila to a stalemate at 4-4, but the Tar Heel duo nabbed the final two games to clinch the doubles point.
The Irish (16-5, 7-4 ACC) struggled facing one of the top singles lineups in the country. Robinson, ranked No. 71, fell to No. 3 Carter 6-0, 6-2 on Court 1. Then, No. 46 Alexa Graham defeated Spence 6-1, 6-2, at No. 4 and No. 100 Makenna Jones upended Closs 6-3, 6-1 to clinch the match.
In a marathon final match, sophomore Rachel Chong forced three sets against Rachel James-Baker, but the Tar Heel closed out the sweep with a 6-2, 6-7(9), 10-8 win at No. 6.
The Irish will be on the road for the final three matches of the 2017 season, first swinging south to face Florida State and Georgia next Friday and Sunday, respectively.
No. 4 North Carolina 7, No. 29 Notre Dame 0
April 9, 2017
Courtney Tennis Center
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. No. 3 Hayley Carter (UNC) def. No. 71 Monica Robinson (ND) 6-0, 6-2
2. No. 6 Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. Brooke Broda (ND) 6-1, 6-4
3. No. 26 Jessie Aney (UNC) def. Allison Miller (ND) 6-4, 6-4
4. No. 46 Alexa Graham (UNC) def. Zoe Spence (ND) 6-1, 6-2
5. No. 100 Makenna Jones (UNC) def. Mary Closs (ND) 6-3, 6-1
6. Rachel James-Baker (UNC) def. Rachel Chong (ND) 6-2, 6-7(9), 10-8.
1. No. 1 Hayley Carter / Sara Daavettila (UNC) def. Mary Closs / Monica Robinson (ND) 6-4
2. Cassandra Vazquez / Alexa Graham (UNC) def. Brooke Broda / Allison Miller (ND) 6-1
3. Jane Fennelly / Zoe Spence (ND) vs. Jessie Aney / Rachel James-Baker (UNC) 6-6, unfinished
— 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.