April 10, 2014
NOTRE DAME, Ind. --- The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will be taking to the courts of the Eck Tennis Pavilion for the last time this season tomorrow. The Irish will take on Virginia Tech at 3:30 p.m.
Head coach Jay Louderback says he is looking forward to keeping the momentum that his team has established in the last few weeks. Notre Dame has swept its last four opponents, making this its longest winning streak of the season.
Friday also marks “Senior Day” for the women’s team. Julie Sabacinski, Britney Sander and Jennifer Kellner will all be graduating from the University of Notre Dame in May after playing on the team for four years. Louderback says that the three of them have brought a tough, competitive spirit to both every match and the Notre Dame program.
Two-time captain Jennifer Kellner has started in both the doubles and singles lineups since her freshman year. She earned BIG EAST Academic All-Star accolades all three years that she played in the BIG EAST and was named to the all-BIG East her freshman and junior years. Last year, she was one of just five Notre Dame student-athletes to receive a BIG EAST Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award.
“We always know what we are going to get from Jen,” Louderback explains. “She is very consistent in her play and has given us four years of big wins in tight situations.”
Britney Sanders was unanimously named the BIG EAST Conference Play of the Year last year after taking down several higher-ranked players at No. 1 singles. She leads the Irish again this year at both No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles, where she and partner Quinn Gleason have earned the current ranking of 11th in the country. Britney herself has been ranked as highly as 35th in singles nationally.
“Britney has improved to the point where she is very tough at No. 1 singles and doubles,” Louderback says. “Her ability to raise her game against top players has legitimized the top of our line up.”
Julie Sabacinski is another player who has contributed to Notre Dame’s success since she was a freshman. Last year, she was selected to the BIG EAST Academic All-Star team and along with partner Britney Sanders, was ranked as highly as 30th in doubles. This year, she and partner Jennifer Kellner have anchored the doubles play, going 7-3 at No. 2.
“Julie brings a great deal of tennis knowledge to the court,” Louderback adds. “She has been a big reason for the success we have had in doubles the past four years. She does a great job of passing that knowledge along to her younger teammates.”
The action gets started tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. Providing that the weather is good, the men’s tennis team will also be taking on Miami at the same time at the Eck.
--Lauren Chval, Media Relations Assistant
Written features on each of the seniors from this season: