Jan. 18, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The University of Notre Dame women's tennis team kicked off the 2014 spring season in fine form with wins over both Western Michigan and IUPUI in Saturday's doubleheader at Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish took both matches 7-0.
"First of all, we played pretty well for a first match, but there were two big things we wanted to get accomplished," says head coach Jay Louderback. "The first one was to get our freshmen their first matches because they're always a little bit nervous. And the second was to get everyone in the lineup and get everyone chance to play. And we accomplished both of those, and everyone played well."
No. 21 Notre Dame 7, Western Michigan 0
Notre Dame secured the doubles point within an hour of the start of the match, with each match going to six instead of the traditional eight-game pro-set from the beginning the season through mid-February. The No. 2 doubles team of senior Julie Sabacinski and Closs was the first off the court, defeating Meika Ashby and Tracy Kuhle, 6-2. The No. 1 team, senior Jennifer Kellner and Robinson (ranked 26th in the country) beat Kathleen Hawkins and Nini Sujashvilli, 6-4, claiming the doubles point for the Irish. The No. 3 team of junior Katherine White and sophomore Quinn Gleason then fell in a close match to Caroline Aleck and Yuriko Ono, 7-5.
Sabacinski was the first one off the court of No. 5 singles. The senior came back from being down two games in the first set to beat Kuhle, 6-3, 6-1. The next match off was Robinson at No. 4, who defeated Aleck, 6-3, 6-0. Junior Molly O'Koniewski clinched the match for the Irish with her victory at No. 6 singles, taking down Ono, 6-0, 6-4.
After a strong first set, Closs dropped her second set to King before taking the match in a definitive super-set tie-breaker. She won the No. 4 match 6-2, 5-7, (10-1). At No. 1, Gleason was losing the first set 4-1 before coming back to win the match against Sujashvilli in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1. Kellner was the last one off the court, beating Ashby, 6-4, 7-5.
1: No. 67 Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Nini Sujashvilli (WMU), 6-4, 6-1
2: Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Meika Ashby (WMU), 6-4, 7-5
3: Monica Robinson (ND) def. Caroline Aleck (WMU), 6-3, 6-0
4: Mary Closs (ND) def. Kelsey King (WMU), 6-2, 5-7, (10-1)
5: Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Tracy Kuhle (WMU), 6-3, 6-1
6: Molly O'Koniewski (ND) def. Yuriko Ono (WMU), 6-0, 6-4
Order of Finish: 5, 3, 6, 4, 1, 2
1: No. 26 Jennifer Kellner/Monica Robinson (ND) def. Kathleen Hawkins/Nini Sujashvilli (WMU), 6-4
2: Mary Closs/Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Ben Tracy Kuhle/Meika Ashby (WMU), 6-2
3: Caroline Aleck/Yuriko Ono (WMU) def. Quinn Gleason/Katherine White (ND), 7-5
Order of Finish: 2, 1, 3
No. 21 Notre Dame 7, IUPUI 0
Doubles were a quick affair in Notre Dame's second match of the day. The No. 1 and No. 2 matches finished within a minute of each other after only half an hour of play. The No. 2 team of senior Jennifer Kellner and freshman Mary Closs defeated Vanessa Whyte and Rachel Smartwood, 6-1. In the No. 2 spot, freshman Jane Fennelly and junior Katherine White did not even drop a game to Abbey Neff and Julie Brockman, winning 6-0. Sophomores Alaina Roberts and Darby Mountford were playing Bobbi Modesto and Rachael Bridgegroom, but once the Irish had clinched the doubles point, their match was left unfinished 3-2, with Notre Dame trailing.
In the No. 5 singles spot, Fennelly had opponent Neff down 5-0, at which point Neff retired and Fennelly won the match. Robinson was the next off the court, beating Smartwood, 6-0, 6-2 at No. 2 singles. White clinched the match for the Irish in the No. 6 spot, beating Brockman, 6-1, 6-1.
Sophomore Quinn Gleason defeated Whyte, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1, and Sabacinski finished off Modesto in the No. 3 spot, also 6-1, 6-1. At No. 4, junior Molly O'Koniewski was the final match off the court, beating Bridgegroom, 6-0, 6-3.
Notre Dame continues its season next Saturday with a match against Arizona State at 3 p.m. (ET) in Evanston, Ill.
1: No. 67 Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Vanessa Whyte (IUPUI),
2: Monica Robinson (ND) def. Rachel Smartwood (IUPUI),
3: Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Bobbi Modesto (IUPUI),
4: Molly O'Koniewski (ND) def. Rachael Bridgegroom (IUPUI),
5: Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Abbey Neff (IUPUI), 5-0, by retirement
6: Katherine White (ND) def. Julie Brockman (IUPUI),
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 3, 6, 1, 4
1: Jennifer Kellner/Mary Closs (ND) def. Vanessa Whyte/Rachel Smartwood (IUPUI), 6-1
2: Katherine White/Jane Fennelly (ND) def. Abbey Neff/Julie Brockman (IUPUI), 6-0
3: Bobbi Modesto/Rachael Bridgegroom (IUPUI) led Darby Mountford/Alaina Roberts (ND), 3-2 (unfinished)
Order of Finish: 1, 2
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant