Sept. 20, 2013
NOTE: Results from Notre Dame's matches at the Ball State Fall Invitational were unavailable at press time, and will be posted when they do become available.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Members of the University of Notre Dame women's tennis team opened the 2013-14 season Friday with a flurry of wins at each court during the first round of singles play at the Wolverine Invitational at the University of Michigan Varsity Tennis Courts.
The Irish earned a total of 58 points in the modified scoring system, which awarded a set point total based on what court in the lineup (one through eight) that the match took place.
"I was really happy with how we played today," Notre Dame head coach Jay Louderback said. "Even in the first tournament of the year the players usually compete well, and we played pretty well in big points against Purdue, which was good. We lost to Purdue last year, and to come in first tournament of the year and win six big singles matches against them was very good."
Notre Dame promptly swept the first five matches right out of the gate against the aforementioned Boilermakers. Britney Sanders needed the full three sets to overcome Lynda Xepoleas at first singles, but the No. 35 ranked player in the country emerged with a 5-6, 6-1, 6-3 victory to net eight points for the Irish. No. 87 Quinn Gleason swept No. 125 Mara Schmidt in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) at No. 2 singles to keep the Notre Dame momentum rolling.
No. 117 Jennifer Kellner made it a Notre Dame trifecta at the first three courts, blanking Dani Vidal 6-3, 6-5. Freshmen Monica Robinson and Mary Closs picked up wins at fourth and fifth singles, respectively, to spark the middle of the Irish lineup. Robinson downed Purdue's Nicole Robinson 6-2, 6-2, while Closs swept Krisztina Kapitany 6-3, 6-4.
"For the freshmen, it was more of a feeling out process than anything," Louderback said. "You just never really know how they are going to handle not only their first match, but just the different pressure of playing for a team and not just themselves. I thought all three (Robinson, Closs and Jane Fennelly) were very good, and I was really impressed with them. They did a good job and definitely did not back down from anybody, they played well."
The Boilermakers finally got into the scoring column at the No. 6 court after Andjela Djokovic outlasted Julie Vrabel in three sets, 6-2, 5-6, 6-4. Purdue won its second straight match at the seventh position when Natalia Davilia downed Notre Dame's Fennelly 4-6, 6-5, 6-3.
The Irish earned the final point of the opening team match thanks to a three-set win from Julie Sabacinski over Claudia Escribens 4-6, 6-5, 6-2.
Notre Dame matched up with Tulane in the second draw of singles play, and the Green Wave struck first at the No. 1 court. No. 53 Kiara Vyskocilova defeated Sanders 6-4, 6-3, but it was all Irish the remainder of the match, as Notre Dame clinched the final 27 points of the team competition.
Gleason won her second tilt of the day at No. 2 singles against Tulane's Jenny Hois, blanking her counterpart 6-2, 6-0. Robinson improved to 2-0 with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Ipek Birol, and Kellner kept her perfect weekend rolling with a 6-0, 6-1 decision against Jacqui Katz.
Fennelly logged her first career collegiate victory at the fifth singles court, sweeping Meredith Maltby 6-1, 6-1. Sabacinski and Closs each capped undefeated starts to the event at the sixth and seventh courts, earning straight-set wins over Emily Dvorak (6-4, 6-2) and Margaux Hyman (6-2, 6-4), respectively.
The second day of play at the Wolverine Invitational is scheduled to being at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, with Notre Dame matching up with Tulane in doubles action.
"Tomorrow will be a little more normal for us playing doubles first, since that is what we usually do in our dual matches," Louderback said. "Today we didn't do our normal warm up since we weren't playing doubles, and usually our warm up is where we key on the doubles since we play those first. Our key tomorrow starting off will be around playing doubles, and it really will be a lot like what our spring will look like."
Wolverine Invitational - Day One Singles Results
Notre Dame vs. Purdue
No. 35 Britney Sanders (ND) d. Lynda Xepoleas (Purdue), 5-6, 6-1, 6-3
No. 87 Quinn Gleason (ND) d. No. 125 Mara Schmidt (Purdue), 6-4, 6-2
No. 117 Jennifer Kellner (ND) d. Dani Vidal (Purdue), 6-3, 6-5
Monica Robinson (ND) d. Nicole Robinson (Purdue), 6-2, 6-2
Mary Closs (ND) d. Krisztina Kapitany (Purdue), 6-3, 6-4
Andjela Djokovic (Purdue) d. Julie Vrabel (ND), 6-2, 5-6, 6-4
Natalia Davila (Purdue) d. Jane Fennelly (ND), 4-6, 6-5, 6-3
Julie Sabacinski (ND) d. Claudia Escribens (Purdue), 4-6, 6-5, 6-2
Notre Dame vs. Tulane
No. 53 Klara Vyskocilova (Tulane) d. No. 35 Britney Sanders (ND), 6-4, 6-3
No. 87 Quinn Gleason (ND) d. Jenny Hois (Tulane), 6-2, 6-0
Monica Robinson (ND) d. Ipek Birol (Tulane), 6-2, 6-1
No. 117 Jennifer Kellner (ND) d. Jacqui Katz (Tulane), 6-0, 6-1
Jane Fennelly (ND) d. Meredith Maltby (Tulane), 6-1, 6-1
Julie Sabacinski (ND) d. Emily Dvorak (Tulane), 6-4, 6-2
Mary Closs (ND) d. Margaux Hyman (Tulane), 6-2, 6-4
-- Tony Jones, Athletic Media Relations Assistant