March 28, 2008
Match Details: #19 Notre Dame (12-7) vs. #25 Indiana (14-3) Sunday March 30, 2008, 12:00 p.m. Eck Tennis Pavilion, Notre Dame, IN
Irish on season-long five match winning streak: Notre Dame has dominated its last five opponents, winning its last five matches by a combined score of 29-5. The Irish recently completed a sweep of the state of Texas, emerging with a 4-3 win over Texas A&M thanks to Brook Buck’s come-from-behind three-set win at No. 2, and defeating SMU 5-1. The win over the Aggies was Notre Dame’s third win in its last four matches decided by a 4-3 score. The only negative of the weekend trip was a loss by the nation’s #1 doubles team of Buck and Kelcy Tefft at the hands of SMU’s Pavi Francis and Natalia Bubien by an 8-7 count. The loss was the first for the Irish pair as the nation’s top ranked team. The duo still owns a 26-5 mark on the season.
Streaking Irish: Colleen Rielley and Cosmina Ciobanu have won five matches in a row and 12 of their last 13…. As a team Notre Dame has won the doubles point each of its last six matches and eleven of its last twelve contests, including a win in doubles over #2 Georgia Tech… The loss by Buck and Tefft at SMU snapped a ten-match winning streak for the pair. The Irish veterans also had a 15 match win streak earlier this season…. Buck has rebounded from a slow start in singles to win her last four contests, the longest active streak on the team.
Loring and Louderback in the record books: The top two active coaches in career collegiate wins will be on the court Sunday afternoon when the Hoosiers battle the Irish. Indiana coach Lin Loring is in his 35th season coaching college tennis (31st season at Indiana) and boasts a 712-251 career mark. Louderback sits in second place with a 553-337 career record. This is Louderback’s 29th season coaching college tennis, and 19th at Notre Dame after stops at Wichita State and Iowa State. Over 60 years of experience and 1265 collegiate wins will be on the court Sunday afternoon inside the Eck Pavilion.
Scouting the Hoosiers: Despite lacking a ranked singles player or doubles team, Indiana has cracked the top-25 with a consistent team effort. The Hoosiers have shutout five opponents this season and are coming off two Big Ten home wins last weekend over Iowa (4-3) and Minnesota (6-1) to extend their season-long winning streak to seven matches. All three of Indiana’s defeats have come at the hands of opponents ranked in the top 25. The Hoosiers lost 6-1 in a match against #17 Duke in January and have since fallen to #21 Tennessee (4-3) and at #19 Wake Forest (4-3). Indiana will host Michigan State Friday afternoon before traveling to Notre Dame for just their fourth road match of the season Sunday.
Brianna Williams, the lone senior on the team, leads Indiana with 25 singles wins including a 16-1 dual mark at the bottom of the lineup. She also has a team-leading 33 doubles victories. Alba Berdala has played the No. 1 singles position in all but one match for Indiana this year, posting a 9-7 record. Berdala teams up with Katya Zapadolva to play No. 1 doubles where the duo is 6-4 on the season.
Series Against Indiana: Notre Dame leads the all-time series against Indiana 11-10. The Irish have won eleven of twelve meetings against Indiana including five in a row. Notre Dame has shutout Indiana 7-0 each of the last two seasons. Sunday’s match will mark the first time the teams have met with both schools ranked in the top 25 since 1994. The #14 Hoosiers won that match over the #16 Irish 5-4 in South Bend. Indiana’s most recent win in the series came in 2002 when he 40th ranked Hoosiers upset 13th-ranked Notre Dame 5-2 at the Eck Pavilion.
Rankings Update: This week’s ITA rankings featured only a team poll. It saw the Irish jump to #19 in the rankings. Notre Dame still has two doubles teams and three singles players ranked individually. Buck and Tefft still hold the #1 doubles ranking and are joined in the polls by teammates Colleen Rielley and Cosmina Ciobanu at #50. Tefft is ranked at a career-high #38 in singles, along with #105 Ciobanu and #114 Kali Krisik.