March 3, 2017
By Joanne Norell
NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The No. 27 University of Notre Dame women's tennis team has been no stranger to one-point matches in Atlantic Coast Conference play over the past three seasons, and the story was no different Friday as the Irish squeaked out a 4-3 victory over Boston College at the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
How It Happened
Boston College (6-5, 1-2 ACC) won the doubles point, defeating the Irish at the Nos. 1 and 2 spots by identical 6-4 scores.
The Eagles went up 2-0 with the first win of singles play as Kylie Wilcox handed freshman Zoe Spence her first loss of the season at No. 4 in a 7-5, 6-2 decision. The Irish (10-1, 3-0 ACC) pulled back within one, however, as senior Monica Robinson disposed of Asiya Dair 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 position.
The remaining four matches saw extra sets, and the Irish tied the match when junior Allison Miller came back to defeat Dasha Possokhova 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, winning six straight games in the second set and cruising in the third.
Sophomore Rachel Chong gave Notre Dame its first lead of the match with a win on Court 6, defeating Jackie Urbinati 6-0, 4-6, 7-5 to make it 3-2. But the Eagles came back as Lexi Borr defeated junior Brooke Broda 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 on Court 2.
Ultimately, it was the tightest match of the evening that proved to be the difference maker in a microcosm of the team event. Senior Mary Closs closed it out with a 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4 victory against Emily Safron to give Notre Dame its seventh straight win.
Coach Jay Louderback's Thoughts
On winning in tight matches this season...
"Well, today was little too tight, but we've just had different ones win and do a good job. Allie Miller was down a set 3-0 and (Possokhova) just kept striking the ball, winner after winner and Allie hung in there and junked it around some. And Mary did a great job in that one being down 5-3 in the third. I think some of it is that last year helped us a lot because we had nine 4-3 matches in the conference and we were 4-5 (in those matches). These guys are all used to that. We just played in so many of them last year and I think that has really helped us a lot (this year)."
On having veterans with close-match experience...
"Our seniors did a great job tonight. They were 2-0 in singles; Monica played a great match. No. 1 for BC is tough and Monica stayed with it the whole time."
On looking ahead to Syracuse on Sunday...
"Syracuse is tough. BC beat them last week, but it'll be a normal ACC match, probably 4-3 one way or the other. That's how they've been. We just have to be ready to go again."
The Irish will wrap up the weekend against Atlantic Coast Conference foe Syracuse at 10 a.m. ET on Sunday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Live stats will be available and the match will be streamed live on WatchND.
Notre Dame 4, Boston College 3
March 3, 2017
Eck Tennis Pavilion
Notre Dame, Ind.
1. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Asiya Dair (BC) 6-2, 6-2
2. Lexi Borr (BC) def. Brooke Broda (ND) 7-5, 1-6, 6-3
3. Allison Miller (ND) def. Dasha Possokhova (BC) 3-6, 6-3, 6-3
4. Kyle Wilcox (BC) def. Zoe Spence (ND) 7-5, 6-2
5. Mary Closs (ND) def. Emily Safron (BC) 7-6(5), 6-7(3), 6-4
6. Rachel Chong (ND) def. Jackie Urbinati (BC) 6-0, 4-6, 7-5
1. Kylie Wilcox / Dasha Possokhova (BC) def. Brooke Broda / Monica Robinson (ND) 6-4
2. Lexi Borr / Emily Safron (BC) def. Allison Miller / Mary Closs (ND) 6-4
3. Jane Fennelly / Zoe Spence (ND) vs. Jackie Urbinati / Asiya Dair (BC) 5-4, unfinished
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.