April 6, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team earned their fourth consecutive sweep this afternoon. The 20th-ranked Fighting Irish defeated Pittsburgh, 7-0. Notre Dame improves to 12-8 (4-6) while the Panthers fall to 4-11 (0-11).
The weather in South Bend allowed for the match to be played outdoors. Head coach Jay Louderback said it was great to have an opportunity to play both at home and outside.
“Any chance we have to play outdoors we take it,” Louderback explained. “We don’t get many opportunities at home to play outside. It’s tougher when you go outside, you have to be patient and hit a lot more balls. This was something that was good for us to play with an outdoor breeze.”
The Irish started the day strong earning the doubles point. The No. 3 doubles team of freshman Mary Closs and junior Molly O’Koniewski defeated Kimmy Borza and Katherine Castron, 8-2. The No. 1 doubles match between eighth-ranked sophomore Quinn Gleason and senior Britney Sanders defeated Taylor Washington and Audrey Ann Blakely 8-5 to secure the doubles point for Notre Dame.
Closs was the first to earn a singles point for the Irish with defeating Amanda Wickman, 6-2, 6-0. Closs’ victory was quickly followed by No.1 Sanders defeating Audrey Ann Blakely, 6-1, 6-1. Freshman Monica Robinson secured the Notre Dame victory with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Kimmy Borza.
Sophomore Julie Vrabel added another Irish win, defeating Molly Wickman, 6-4, 6-1. Senior Jennifer Kellner and Gleason both earned 7-5 first set wins and finished their opponents 6-1 and 6-3 to finish the day with another sweep.
“We started off like we did Friday with winning the doubles point, which is huge for us,” Louderback said. “We have been doing such a good job with competing and staying patient especially since we were outdoors. Pittsburgh is a feisty bunch of fighters. They are a good team and are coached very well.”
The Fighting Irish are back in action for their last home match of the season against No. 66 Virginia Tech in the Eck Tennis Pavilion at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.
1. Britney Sanders (ND) def. Audrey Ann Blakely (PITT), 6-1, 6-1
2. Quinn Gleason (ND) def. Taylor Washington (PITT), 7-5, 6-3
3. Jennifer Kellner (ND) def. Lolade Ogungbesan (PITT), 7-5, 6-1
4. Monica Robinson (ND) def. Kimmy Borza (PITT), 6-1, 6-0
5. Mary Closs (ND) def. Amanda Wickman (PITT), 6-2, 6-0
6. Julie Varbel (ND) def. Molly Wickman (PITT), 6-4, 6-1
1. Britney Sanders/Quinn Gleason (ND) vs Taylor Washington/Audrey Ann Blakely (PITT), 8-5
2. Jennifer Kellner/Julie Sabacinski (ND) def. Jocelyn Lu/Lolade Ogungbesan (PITT), 6-2, unfinished
3. Mary Closs/Molly O’Koniewski (ND) def. Kimmy Borza/Katherine Castron (PITT), 8-2
--Travis Bowman, Media Relations Intern