Feb. 17, 2006
#22 Tennessee (2-3) vs. #15 Notre Dame (5-0)Saturday, February 18, Noon (EST) â€¢ Eck Tennis Center â€¢ Notre Dame, IN- Live Scoring Updates: und.com
#9 Harvard (5-1) vs. #15 Notre DameSunday, February 19, 10 a.m. (EST) â€¢Eck Tennis Center â€¢ Notre Dame, IN- Live Scoring Updates: und.com
#15 IRISH TO BEGIN SEVEN-MATCH HOMESTAND WITH #22 TENNESSEE & #9 HARVARD: The 15th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team – off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 1997-98 and carrying its highest ranking since March 12, 2003 – will begin a seven-match homestand this weekend by welcoming a pair of top-25 squads to the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish will take on #22 Tennessee (2-3) on Saturday at Noon (EST) and will then face #9 Harvard (5-1) on Sunday at 10 a.m. It will continue a stretch of six consecutive ND matches against top-30 teams, and the latter contest will be the first matchup of top-15 squads at Notre Dame since 2000-01.
TENNESSEE AT A GLANCE: The Lady Vols – who have not played since Feb. 9 at Wake Forest – come to Notre Dame with a 2-3 record and ranked 22nd in the latest Fila ITA national rankings … Tennessee – began the spring at 19th – has beaten Illinois (6-1) and Purdue (5-2), while all three of its defeats (5-2 vs. current #11 North Carolina, 6-1 vs. #5 Duke, 6-1 vs. #21 Wake Forest) have come against squads among the current national top 25 … the Irish and Volunteers have faced two common oppenents, as Notre Dame beat both Wake Forest (4-3) and UNC (5-1) last weekend … against the Demon Deacons, UT won at No. 2 doubles and No. 6 singles (three sets), while the Irish lost only at Nos. 1-3 singles … vs. the Tar Heels, Tennessee won at Nos. 2 and 4 singles and No. 2 doubles, while ND lost only at No. 3 singles and No. 1 doubles (No. 4 singles was abandoned) … UT returned five letterwinners and four of six starters from last year’s squad that was 15-9 and ranked 18th in the nation … the Lady Vols finished fourth in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference before falling 4-1 to Georgia in the quarterfinals of the league tournament … Tennessee beat Boston University 4-0 in the opening round of the NCAAs and then fell 4-1 to Harvard … gone from that team is Sabita Maharaj, who finished ranked 44th nationally in singles and earned a spot in the 2005 NCAA Singles Championship … back are juniors Blakeley Griffith (57th) and Victoria Jones (75th), who were both listed in the preseason singles rankings, but have since fallen out … in doubles, Griffith and sophomore Bryce Marable are ranked 28th after going 4-2 in the fall, but they are no longer playing together … senior Melissa Schaub and freshman Samantha Orlin are 38th nationally, but were split up after losing their fifth consecutive match on Jan. 22 … Mike Patrick and Sonia Hahn-Patrick are in their ninth year as co-head coaches of the Lady Vols, with Patrick in his 19th season leading the UT program, having compiled a 317-185 (.631) record … Hahn-Patrick holds a 158-75 (.678) mark since taking over her current role, including 6-1 vs. the Irish … Patrick is in his 22nd year overall as a head coach, with a 373-214 (.635) mark, including 11-3 against Notre Dame (all during his time at Tennesse) … next up for the Lady Vols is a match at #30 Michigan on Sunday at Noon (EST).
IRISH-LADY VOLS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Tennessee will meet for the sixth consecutive season and 17th time overall, with the Lady Vols holding a 12-4 edge in the series (see page 43 of the ND media guide for scores of every match), including a current six-match winning streak … Notre Dame’s last victory against UT came in 1998, when the 16th-ranked Irish prevailed 5-4 at home vs. the 12th-ranked Volunteers … the Lady Vols have won 6-1 in four of the last five decisions, though they escaped with a 4-3 victory in 2003 … only Northwestern (20-8 all-time record vs. ND) has registered more all-time victories against the Irish in women’s tennis (Duke also has 12) … UT’s eight-match lead (12-4) in the all-time series is the third-largest margin by any school against Notre Dame, with only Duke (12-0) and Northwestern (20-8) holding larger advantages … Tennessee will tie Miami (Fla.) and Wake Forest as the most-common non-Big Ten opponents in Notre Dame women’s tennis history when the teams play for the 17th time … the Irish are 3-2 all-time at home against the Lady Vols, though UT prevailed 6-1 in 2002 in its most-recent visit … the schools first played in 1986, with Notre Dame prevailing 5-4 at the Lavers International in Delray Beach, Fla. … Tennessee earned its first win in the series the following year, taking a 9-0 decision in Hilton Head, S.C. … a year ago, the Lady Vols won 6-1 at home on March 18 in just the third outdoor match for the Irish … Blakeley Griffith and Ashley Robards won a tiebreaker (7-2) at No. 3 against Sarah Jane Connelly and Jennifer Smith to give Tennessee – which won 9-7 at No. 2 – the doubles point … the Lady Volunteers then posted five straight-set victories in singles to clinch the match … Notre Dame’s lone tally came at No. 2, where Brook Buck won 6-3, 6-1 against Griffith … this will be the 15th consecutive meeting in which both squads are ranked (UT leads 11-3), as well as the 12th in that span with both among the national top 25 (UT leads 9-2) … it will be the sixth time that Notre Dame has been ranked higher heading into the match, but the Lady Vols holds a 4-1 record in the previous instances, including upsets of #12 ND in 1997, the seventh-ranked Irish in 2001, and 18th-ranked Notre Dame in 2004 … the Irish have prevailed in two of the three one-point matches in the series, posting 5-4 wins in 1986 and `98 before Tennessee’s 4-3 triumph in 2003 … the Lady Vols have an 11-3 mark against the Irish during the tenure of Jay Louderback … only one school (Duke-12) has beaten Notre Dame more times during that span … UT co-head coach Mike Patrick has an 11-3 career mark against the Irish, while co-head coach Sonia Hahn-Patrick is 6-1.
HARVARD AT A GLANCE: The Crimson enter the weekend with a 5-1 record and ranked #9 in the latest Fila ITA national rankings … Harvard will play at #8 Northwestern on Friday evening before heading to Notre Dame … the Crimson began the spring ranked 18th, but shot into the top 10 after knocking off #6 Georgia (4-3) and #16 TCU (4-3) to reach the semifinals of the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship for the first time … Harvard then lost 5-0 to eventual champion #1 Stanford … the Crimson also has wins against Boston University (7-0), Sacramento State (4-3), and South Alabama (5-2) … Harvard returned seven letterwinners and three of six starters from last year’s squad that was 19-7 and finished ranked 16th in the nation … the Crimson won the Ivy League with a 7-0 record and beat Maryland (4-0) and Tennessee (4-0) to reach the round of 16 in the NCAA tournament before falling to eventual champ Stanford (4-0) … gone from that team are three players who finished 2004-05 sporting national singles rankings: Courtney Bergman (59th), Susanna Lingman (78th), and Celia Durkin (114th; 38th in doubles) … Harvard does have back three players who were ranked in singles to end last season … junior Preethi Mukundan was listed 40th in the preseason in singles and is now 67th, while seniors Elsa O’Riain (48th) and Melissa Andersen (78th) were both ranked in the preseason, but have since fallen out … O’Riain and Andersen are listed #6 nationally in doubles with a 21-3 record after winning the ITA East Region Championships and advancing to the quarters in both of the first two legs of the collegiate grand slam … head coach Gordon Graham is in his 16th season leading the Crimson, having compiled a 224-128 (.636) mark … he is in his 28th year overall as a head coach, with a 403-257 (.611) record, including 1-0 vs. Notre Dame … next up for Harvard is a home match on Sunday, Feb. 26 against #26 South Carolina.
IRISH-CRIMSON SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Harvard will meet for just the second time ever in women’s tennis … the 17th-ranked Crimson prevailed 4-3 over #21 ND on Feb. 11, 2005, in Cambridge, Mass., in the inaugural matchup … the doubles point came down to the No. 2 contest, where Notre Dame’s Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) prevailed 9-7 over Melissa Anderson and Celia Durkin … four of the singles matches were decided in three sets, and Harvard was victorious in all but one to rally froma 3-1 deficit for the victory … after Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) upset 93rd-ranked Preethi Mukundan 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 5 to put ND within a point of victory, Alexis Martire beat Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.) 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 at No. 6 and Elsa O’Riain topped Buck 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-3 at No. 2 to tie the match at 3-3 … Susanna Lingman then beat Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) 7-6, 6-7, 6-0 at No. 3 in the decisive contest … Notre Dame has a 6-2 all-time mark against current members of the Ivy League, including 3-1 under current head coach Jay Louderback … Harvard and Notre Dame have played a total of 42 times, across all sports, with the Irish holding a 26-16 advantage … the plurality of those contests came in men’s lacrosse, where ND leads the series 7-3 … women’s lacrosse (Harvard leads 3-1) is the only other women’s sport in which Harvard has defeated the Irish.
ND JUMPS TO 15TH IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: After beating #23 Wake Forest (4-3) and #10 North Carolina (5-1) last weekend, the Irish moved up seven spots to 15th in the latest set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Tuesday. It is the highest ranking for the Irish since they were 15th on March 12, 2003. It was the most the Irish had risen from one set of the rankings to the next since going up 21 spots to 27th on March 31, 2003. In all, 18 of Notre Dame’s 23 regular-season opponents are listed in the rankings, with eight in the top 25: #3 Texas, #5 Duke, #8 Northwestern, #9 Harvard, #11 North Carolina, #14 Vanderbilt, #20 BYU, #21 Wake Forest, and #22 Tennessee. Additionally, the Irish lost 4-3 to USC – currently ranked fourth – during the fall in exhibition action.
IRISH OFF TO BEST START SINCE 1997-98: Notre Dame is 5-0 for the first time since 1997-98, when the Irish lost 5-4 to #16 Vanderbilt in their sixth match. The last time the Irish began 6-0 was 1990-91, when they lost 7-1 to William & Mary in their seventh match. Notre Dame has never started 7-0 since becoming a Division I program in 1985-86, but opened the 1984-85 campaign – its last as a Division II squad – with a 10-0 mark en route to going 25-5 and reaching the NCAA title match.
ND NOTCHES FIRST TOP-10 WIN SINCE 2001-02: Notre Dame won 5-1 at #10 North Carolina on Feb. 5, marking its first triumph against a top-10 squad since downing #7 USC 4-3 on Feb. 7, 2002, in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Madison, Wis. This year’s team became the lowest-ranked Irish unit ever to knock off a top-10 opponent. That distinction had previously belonged to the 1993-94 team that was ranked 17th when it beat #10 Kansas in the National Team Indoor Championship.
TOP ALL-TIME IRISH WINS: See pdf for a list of Notre Dame’s 14 all-time victories against top-10 teams since becoming a Division I program in 1985-86, ordered by opponent ranking.
IRISH LOOK FOR MULTIPLE WINS OVER TOP-10 TEAMS IN SAME MONTH: When it takes on Harvard on Sunday, Notre Dame – which won 5-1 at #10 North Carolina last Sunday – will be looking to defeat multiple top-10 foes in the same month for just the third time since becoming a Division I program in 1985-86. Both previous instances came in noteworthy seasons for the Irish, as the 1995-96 squad – which remains the only team in program history to reach the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division I Championship – beat #9 Tennessee at home on Feb. 15 and then downed #6 California on Feb. 24 in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in Madison, Wis. The 2000-01 team – which peaked at an Irish all-time high of #5 in the national rankings on Feb. 28 – duplicated the feat by downing #8 Wake Forest on Feb. 10 at home and then defeating #7 Pepperdine on Feb. 17 in the Team Indoors.
ND 14-1 IN DOUBLES THIS SPRING: Notre Dame – the only Division I team with three nationally-ranked doubles teams – has been nearly unbeatable in partnered play this spring, going 14-1 and winning the doubles point in all five matches. In nine of those contests, the Irish have lost just three games or fewer. On the season, Notre Dame teams have combined for a 32-12 (.727) record in doubles. Junior All-America twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), the top-ranked team in college tennis after giving ND its first-ever grand slam title at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, stand 9-2 on the season (6-2 vs. ranked teams), while the No. 2 tandem of sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) – who were reunited this season after pairing to win five USTA super national titles in juniors play – are ranked 35th and sporting a 15-2 record on the season and an eight-match winning streak. Seniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) are 16-5 together (3-1 against ranked teams) and ranked 45th in the nation. In all, the players on Notre Dame’s roster combined for 29 USTA super national gold balls in the juniors.
IRISH 5-0 AT Nos. 5 & 6 SINGLES, Nos. 2 & 3 DOUBLES: Thus far this spring, Notre Dame remains unbeaten in four positions in its lineups, as the Irish have gone 5-0 at Nos. 5 and 6 in singles, as well as Nos. 2 and 3 in doubles. Senior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) is 4-0 at No. 5, while her classmate, Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop Gorman H.S.) won there against Xavier. At No. 6, freshman Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) is 4-0, with senior Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School) also earning a win there vs. the Musketeers. Sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) are 4-0 at No. 2 doubles, while Connelly and Stastny won there against Xavier. The ND seniors are 4-0 at No. 3, with Nelson and Potts claiming a victory in the Xavier match.
NOTRE DAME TO START LONGEST HOMESTAND SINCE 1992-93: Notre Dame’s next seven matches will all be played at home, as the Irish will not hit the road again until they travel to Orlando, Fla., for spring break to face Duke on March 15. This is the longest homestand for ND since a seven-match one – in which the Irish were victorious in every match – from March 18-April 2 in 1993. Notre Dame did play each of its first nine dual matches of the 1993-94 campaign at home, though that was interrupted by the Rolex ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, which were then contested in February.
THOMPSONS REGAIN NATIONAL #1 RANKING: Notre Dame junior All-America twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) are once again the top-ranked doubles team in college tennis, as they moved back up to #1 in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Jan. 10. It is the second time that the Thompson sisters have been ranked #1 in the nation. They achieved that listing on Feb. 22, 2005, but it was short-lived, as the twins were defeated in their first match after that and fell to #2 in the next of rankings before finishing 2004-05 at fifth. They remain only the second set of twin sisters ever to be ranked #1 by the ITA (Tami and Teri Whitlinger of Stanford in 1989). Stanford twins Mike and Bob Bryan – currently ranked #1 in the ATP’s world rankings – also were #1 in 1998.
The Thompsons delivered Notre Dame’s first-ever title in a collegiate grand slam in September by downing three top-10 teams and then saving two match points en route to a thrilling tiebreaker triumph in the title match of the Riviera ITA All-American Championships. After a win at No. 1 against USC in a dual match, the twins tried to become the first team from any school ever to win both of the first two legs of the grand slam, but were denied, losing to Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey from Stanford – the nation’s current #2 team – in the quarterfinals. The Thompsons, 6-1 heading into the spring, already boast victories this season over the teams currently ranked #2, #3 (Maja Kovacek/Iva Gersic of New Mexico), #4 (Katharina Wintherhalter/Lucia Sainz of Fresno State), and #5 (Gabriela Duch/Neyssa Etienne of South Florida). Those quality wins allowed them to pile up 72.62 points in the computerized rankings, while Barnes and Yelsey were relatively far behind at 61.65.
NOTRE DAME ONLY DI SQUAD WITH THREE RANKED DOUBLES TEAMS: Notre Dame is the only school with three teams listed (out of 50 ranked squads) in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings, released Jan. 10. Junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) moved up a spot to #1 in the listing, while sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) are 35th, and the pair of seniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) came in 45th. Notre Dame has never before had three doubles teams ranked simultaneously.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Jay Louderback is in his 17th season at Notre Dame with a 288-147 (.664) record and his 26th year as a collegiate coach with a 492-325 (.603) mark. He ranks fifth among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories. Louderback’s Irish have finished in the national top 30 in each of the last 13 seasons and have won 12 conference titles. Since the preseason of the 1992-93 season, Louderback’s teams have been in the national top 30 in 207 of 209 sets of ITA rankings. After taking over a program looking for its first NCAA tournament appearance, Louderback has helped Notre Dame to the NCAAs 12 times in the last 13 years (which only 10 other schools have done), including five appearances in the round of 16 and a 1996 quarterfinal finish. Louderback, a four-time Midwest Region coach of the year, has been honored as his conference’s top coach on eight occasions, including five times in 10 years in the BIG EAST. In his time at Notre Dame, Louderback’s players have earned All-America honors 15 times, won four national ITA awards, and earned 20 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 12 to the NCAA doubles tournament. In the fall, he delivered the first individual title in an ITA grand slam event, when junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) won the doubles crown in the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. His players have dominated the University awards during Louderback’s tenure, leading all sports in both Byron V. Kanaley awards (six) and Francis Patrick O’Connor awards (six). His family was honored with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis Family of the Year Award for 2002. The Arkansas City, Kan., native, and 1976 graduate of Wichita State arrived at Notre Dame prior to the 1989-90 season after coaching for seven years at his alma mater and three years (men and women) at Iowa State.
THOMPSONS GIVE ND TWO TOP-50 SINGLES PLAYERS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1999: Junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) – who are ranked 24th and 44th, respectively, in singles in the latest edition of the Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings – combine to give Notre Dame multipled players among the national top 50 in singles for the first time since the initial set of spring rankings in 1998-99, when current assistant coach Michelle Dasso was eighth and Becky Varnum was 47th. Notre Dame is one of just a dozen schools with multiple players among the top 50 in singles, along with Baylor, California, Duke, Florida, Georgia Tech, New Mexico, North Carolina, Northwestern, Stanford, TCU, and William & Mary. Catrina Thompson is the highest-ranked Irish player in the national listing since Alicia Salas finished her career in 2003-04 at 22nd.
ND ONE OF FIVE SCHOOLS TO HAVE ENTIRE LINEUP IN REGIONAL RANKINGS: When the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its regional rankings at the end of the fall portion of the season, Notre Dame was one of only five Division I schools – along with Stanford, USC, Baylor, and California – to have its entire lineup earn regional ranks. In addition to having six players among the top 30 in the Midwest Region, three of the top five doubles teams in the region belong to the Irish; junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) were #1, while sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) came in fourth, and seniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) were fifth. Only one other school (Northwestern) had even multiple squads among the 15 Midwest Region doubles teams listed. In singles, Catrina Thompson led the way at third, while Christian Thompson was 10th, Buck came in 14th, Tefft was 18th, Connelly was 25th, and Stastny was 27th. The last time ND had the top doubles team in the Midwest Region rankings was at the conclusion of the 2000-01 campaign, when current assistant coach Michelle Dasso and Becky Varnum held that spot. Catrina Thompson is the highest-ranked ND singles player in the regional rankings since Alicia Salas concluded her career at #2 in 2003-04.
THOMPSONS GIVE ND FIRST-EVER GRAND SLAM TITLE: Junior All-America twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) fought off two match points and finally prevailed in a tiebreaker to give the University of Notre Dame its first-ever title in an Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national championship, winning 9-8 (9-7) over Spaniard Lucia Sainz and German Kathrina Winterhalter from Fresno State in the final of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, the first grand slam of the 2005-06 season. Both teams had two match points in the contest, which is the closest doubles final in All-Amercan Championships history since the current pro-set format was adopted in 2001. The Thompsons are the first team from any school to reach the title match of the ITA All-American Championships in consecutive years and come away with a title. Each of the three previous back-to-back finalists had gone winless in both attempts. Notre Dame – which knocked off three top-seven teams to reach the final – lost just 16 total games in the tournament, the second-fewest ever by a doubles champion, behind only the 11 surrendered by Sarah Riske and Aleke Tsoubanos of Vanderbilt in 2002. The Irish opened with an 8-0 victory over the seventh-ranked team of Gabrielle Duch and Neyssa Etienne of South Florida. The twins beat #6 Alice Barnes/Anne Yelsey of Stanford 9-7 in the quarters and came back with an 8-1 triumph against #3 Iva Gersic/Maja Kovacek of New Mexico in the semifinals. Catrina and Christian are the second set of twins from any school – and the first in the All-Americans – ever to win an ITA national championship, following Tami and Teri Whitlinger of Stanford, who won the 1989 ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The Thompsons – who have been among the final four teams remaining in three of the last four grand slams – improved to 11-4 in their careers in grand slam events. They are now 7-1 in the All-American Championships after Irish competitors had been just 2-5 in its doubles main draw prior to that.
IRISH WIN ALL 30 SETS IN DOUBLEHEADER SWEEP OF OHIO STATE & XAVIER: Notre Dame was virtually perfect in opening the spring with 7-0 victories against Ohio State and Xavier on Jan. 28. Despite resting its Nos. 3 and 4 players, Notre Dame lost only 11 games in singles against the Musketeers (18 games lost in 15 sets, including the doubles). It was the fewest surrendered by the Irish since Jan. 30, 1999, when Notre Dame allowed Kansas State to win 10 games in singles in a 9-0 decision in Oklahoma City, Okla. That contest, however, featured an Irish walkover at No. 6. The Xavier match marked the fewest singles games surrendered by the Irish in a match with all six singles matches being contested since ND lost just 10 in a 9-0 win against Western Illinois on March 18, 1989.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend:
– Notre Dame has won six consecutive home matches. [last loss: 2/26/05 vs. #13 Texas, 4-3]
– Notre Dame has won three consecutive matchups of top-15 teams at home. [last loss: 3/10/97, #5 Texas def. #14 ND 6-3]
– Notre Dame has lost six consecutive matches against Tennessee. [last win: 2/14/98 at Notre Dame, 5-4]
– Notre Dame has won the doubles poin in all five matches this sason. [last doubles-point loss: 5/14/05 vs. #6 Northwestern, lost at Nos. 2 and 3]
– Notre Dame has won at No. 6 singles in nine consecutive matches. [last loss: 4/10/05, Indiana’s Cecile Perton def. Sarah Jane Connelly 6-1, 1-6, 6-3]
– Notre Dame has won at No. 5 singles in every match this season. [last loss: 4/14/05, Northwestern’s Andrea Yung def. Kristina Stastny 6-4, 4-6, 1-0 (10-8)]
– Notre Dame has won at No. 2 doubles in every match this season. [last loss: 5/14/05, Northwestern’s Alexis Prousis/Kristi Roemer def. Brook Buck/Lauren Connelly 9-8 (7-4)]
– Notre Dame has won at No. 3 doubles in every match this season. [last loss: 5/14/05, Northwestern’s Feriel Esseghir/Valerie Vladea def. Sarah Jane Connelly/Kristina Stastny 8-4]
– Notre Dame has won 17 consecutive dual matches when winning at No. 3 singles. [last loss: 4/21/04 at #61 Purdue, 4-3, Catrina Thompson def. Amy Walgenbach 6-2, 6-1 at No. 3]
– Catrina Thompson has won six consecutive home doubles matches. [last loss: 2/26/05 vs. Texas’ Katie Ruckert/Kendra Strohm 8-5]
– Christian Thompaon is 8-0 in her career in singles matches against BIG EAST Conference players.
– Brook Buck has won 25 consecutive matches when taking the opening set (27-1 career record). [only loss: 9/19/04 vs. Denver’s Jenny Trettin 1-6, 6-3, 6-1]
– Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft have won eight consecutive matches. [last loss: 10/23/05 vs. Northwestern’s Cristelle Grier/Alexis Prousis 8-4]
– Kristina Stastny has won a career-high seven consecutive singles matches. [last loss: 11/4/05 vs. Illinois’ Brianna Knue 6-0, 6-1]
– Katie Potts has won nine consecutive singles matches. [last loss: 10/22/05 vs. Northwestern’s Nazlie Ghazal 7-5, 6-4]
– Lauren Connelly has won four consecutive singles matches [last loss: 10/23/05 vs. #50 Alexis Prousis of Northwestern, 6-0, 6-2]
– Lauren Connelly has won seven consecutive singles matches against BIG EAST Conference players (9-1 career record). [only loss: 4/12/03 vs. Miami’s Sara Robbins 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (10-4)]
– Kelly Nelson has won four consecutive singles matches. [last loss: 10/21/05 vs. Michigan’s Allie Shafner, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2]
– Kelly Nelson is 8-0 this season in close sets (6-4, 7-5, or 7-6). [last loss: 11/9/03 vs. Illinois’ Emily Wang, 7-6 in second set]
– Kelly Nelson has won six consecutive close singles matches (three sets, match tiebreaker, or two sets with difference of games of 4 or fewer). [last loss: 11/7/03 vs. Virginia’s Caroline Hammond 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1]
– Kelly Nelson has won five consecutive singles matches outdoors. [last loss: 9/23/05 vs. West Virginia’s Monica Lyskawa 6-3, 6-2]
MOST LOSSES AGAINST ONE TEAM: See pdf for the list of teams that have defeated Notre Dame most in its 30 years of varsity women’s tennis.
LARGEST DEFICIT IN ALL-TIME SERIES: See pdf for the list of teams that hold the largest leads in the all-time series against Notre Dame.
LONGEST LOSING STREAKS: See pdf for the longest losing streaks against a single opponent in the 30 seasons of Notre Dame varsity women’s tennis.
MOST-COMMON OPPONENTS: See pdf for the list of schools Notre Dame has played most in its 30 seasons of varsity women’s tennis.
MOST LOSSES IN LOUDERBACK ERA: See pdf for the list of teams that have defeated Notre Dame most since head coach Jay Louderback began his tenure in 1989-90.
TWO DECISIVE TIEBREAKERS GIVE USC 4-3 EXHIBITION WIN OVER ND: After nearly 10 hours of play (due to playing concurrent to a men’s match), the exhibition match between the Notre Dame and USC – which began the spring ranked fifth in the nation – on Oct. 14 came down to a single tiebreaker at No. 2 singles, where Dianne Matias prevailed 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) over Irish junior Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) to hand the Women of Troy a 4-3 victory. USC’s victory also was keyed by a tiebreaker victory in the final doubles match on court.
IRISH DEPTH ON DISPLAY AT ITA MIDWEST CHAMPIONSHIPS: Notre Dame’s depth was evident at the ITA Midwest Championships – the annual indoor tournament of the top players in the Midwest Region. The Irish were one of just two schools (along with Northwestern) to have three players – senior captain Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and juniors Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) – among the final 16 in singles. Catrina Thompson reached the semis before falling. ND and the Wildcats also were the only squads to have multiple doubles teams in the quarterfinals: Connelly and fellow senior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) plus sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.). The Thompsons – who were ranked #2 nationally at the time – did not compete in doubles in the tournament.
IRISH ADD MARCH 31 HOME MATCH WITH EASTERN MICHIGAN: Notre Dame has added another match to its spring slate, as the Irish will play host to Eastern Michigan on Friday, March 31 at 2:30 p.m. (EST). Notre Dame’s originally-scheduled match at Tulane on April 15 has been cancelled, since the Green Wave program was suspended in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. That changed freed up a date for the Irish to schedule another match.
IRISH A PERENNIAL TOP-30 TEAM: Not only has Notre Dame finished in the top 30 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings in each of the last 13 seasons, but the Irish also have been a near-constant presence. Since the preseason rankings of the 1992-93 season, Notre Dame has been among the top 30 teams in the country in 207 of 209 (99.0%) sets of rankings. The first exception came in late March of 2003, when the transition to the computer rankings moved the Irish from 15th to 27th to 48th and then back to 27th (despite going 6-2 during that time). The second slip out of the top 30 came on April 5 of 2004-05, when ND fell three spots to 31st before moving back to up 26th the following week.
CAPTAIN CONNELLY, THE SEQUEL: Senior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) will serve as Notre Dame’s sole captain during the 2005-06 season. She took over the mantle from her sister, Sarah Jane Connelly, who was Notre Dame’s sole senior in 2004-05. The Connellys are the first sisters to serve as captains of the Irish women’s tennis team, as well as just the fifth sister captain duo in Notre Dame athletics history, following Kathy and Susan Valdiserri (fencing), Julie and Tracy Melby (golf), Carol and Maggie Lally (basketball), and Jessica and Kristen Kinder (volleyball).
THOMPSONS FEATURED IN “SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ON CAMPUS” A LIST: Junior All-America twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) were two of the 14 student-athletes featured on the “A List” of elite collegiate performers across all sports in the October 13 issue of Sports Illustrated On Campus. In the words of SI On Campus: “Think of the A List this way: the coolest, the hottest, the most of-the-moment, the cream of the crop. Here are 14 faces SIOC would usher to the front of just about any line, no questions asked.” The Thompsons were the only tennis players featured among the group, which also includes the likes of football Heisman Trophy winners Matt Leinart of USC and Vince Young of Texas, as well as Connecticut basketball standout Rudy Gay.
WOMEN’S TENNIS “GOLD GAME” SET FOR APRIL 5 vs. #6 NORTHWESTERN: Notre Dame’s matchup with #6 Northwestern on Wednesday, April 5 at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) has been designated as this season’s women’s tennis “Gold Game,” a distinction created by the Student-Athlete Advisory Council to encourage the entire Notre Dame community to attend particular contests. The match will feature the two teams that have been consistently the top squads in the Midwest Region over the past decade. Northwestern has won the last seven matches in the series – with three of those coming by 4-3 scores – after the Irish had won six straight prior to that. In the Wildcats’ last visit, NU won a third-set tiebreaker in the decisive match to win 4-3.
ND SIGNS TRIO OF TOP RECRUITS, INCLUDING NATION’S #1 PLAYER: Notre Dame women’s tennis head coach Jay Louderback announced that three stars of prep and junior tennis – Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, Calif./Troy H.S.), Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan./Arkansas City H.S.), and Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, Kan./Bishop Miege H.S.) – signed national letters of intent in the early period and will join the Irish in the fall of 2006. At the time of announcement (Nov. 15, 2005), Rielley was #1 in the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) 18-and-under girls’ singles national rankings, while Ciobanu was 17th, and Krisik – a two-time Kansas state champion (2002 and `03) – was 76th. Ciobanu won the Southern California Sectional singles championship in 2005 and also reached the singles final of a USTA National Open last year. She was ranked as high as 15th nationally in singles in `05. Krisik is Louderback’s niece, and she is part of the first mother-daughter combination ever to play for the longtime Irish mentor. Louderback’s sister, Jan, was his first recruit when he began his head coaching career at Wichita State in 1980. Krisik will join both her uncle and her cousin, current sophomore Bailey Louderback (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.), in the Irish program. Rielley is the first Notre Dame signee ever to have been ranked #1 in the USTA girls’ 18s. A three-time prep state champ (Missouri in `03, Kansas in `04 and `05), she won the singles title in the 2004 USTA Winter National Championships, took third in the ’05 National Clay Courts, and also is ranked fourth nationally in doubles.
WE ARE FAMILY: Notre Dame women’s tennis has long featured members of the same family on its teams. For the fourth consecutive season, Notre Dame will have a set of sisters on its roster: junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). They last year became the first set of Irish sisters — and first twins of either sex — to both become All-Americans. The previous three seasons had featured two pairs of sisters on each Irish roster, but that has changed with the graduation of Maggie Donohue in 2003 and Sarah Jane Connelly last spring. Another family connection was added last season, as head coach Jay Louderback’s daughter, Bailey Louderback (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.), joined the team. He became the 11th Notre Dame coach — just the second in a women’s sport (along with softball’s Brian Boulac) — to have coached his son or daughter with the Irish. Next year, Louderback’s niece, Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan./Arkansas City H.S.) will join the Irish roster.
DAVID DiLUCIA NOW PERSONAL COACH FOR LINDSAY DAVENPORT: A five-time All-American during his four-year career at Notre Dame (1988-92), David DiLucia, left his job with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in December 2005 to become the personal coach of the world’s #1 player, Lindsay Davenport. DiLucia was ranked #1 in both singles and doubles during his collegiate career and then went on to play in the singles main draw in all four professional grand slams before retiring in 2002. During his pro career, DiLucia earned wins over players such as Gustavo Kuerten, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, Mark Philippoussis, and David Wheaton.
ND #1 IN NACDA DIRECTORS’ CUP: Notre Dame is in first place in the most-recent set of standings in the 2005-06 United States Sports Academy Directors’ Cup all-sports competition sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Dirctors of Athletics (NACDA), which were released on Jan. 12 and included results from all fall sports. Fall NCAA competition earned the Irish 412 points based on their third-place finish in men’s cross country (85 points), their seventh-place finish in women’s cross country (69 points), their quarterfinal appearance in women’s soccer (73), their third-round appearance in men’s soccer (64), their regional semifinal appearance in women’s volleyball (64) and their 11th-place finish in football based on the final USA Today poll (57). This marks the second straight year Notre Dame has ranked atop the final fall standings – and its 412 points are its highest-ever fall total. Penn State (308.5 points) ranks second, Stanford (282) is third, and Duke (280) and Wisconsin (277) round out the top five. Notre Dame finished 16th in 2004-05, its fifth consecutive top-20 placing, and has three times finished an all-time high of 11th (1993-94, `95-96, 2000-01). Duke posted its all-time best finish of fifth in 2004-05.
CHANGES TO THE ITA RANKINGS: The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) recently announced some changes to its national rankings for the 2005-06 season: (1) It will use one set of points for wins and also a tighter set of points, with less gaps. This set of points will be the same set that has been used for the season’s first computer rankings in the past; (2) There will be bonus points awarded for road wins; (3) The rankings that are run at the time of NCAA Championship selections will be run twice and the second run of the rankings will be the published ranking; (4) There will be expanded, unpublished rankings (and values for opponents): 76-125 for team, 126-175 for singles, and 61-90 for doubles; (5) The first computer rankings (for team) will take place 2 weeks earlier on March 8; (6) The singles and doubles rankings from Fall results will go back to being a computer ranking; it had been done by committee vote the past three years.
KEEPING UP WITH NOTRE DAME TENNIS: For the fastest results of Notre Dame tennis matches, call the Notre Dame sports hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #8. The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the game recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website at www.und.com. The hotline is the first medium updated with the results of each Notre Dame tennis match. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.email@example.com, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.