Senior Kelly Nelson is 13-2 this season in singles.

#2 Irish Bounce Back With 7-0 Win Over Eastern Michigan

March 31, 2006

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The second-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (17-1) bounced back from its first defeat of the season to win every set in singles and doubles in a 7-0 victory against Eastern Michigan (6-7) Friday afternoon in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish registered their eighth 7-0 victory of the season and dropped just 24 total games en route to their 15th consecutive home victory.

Notre Dame swept the doubles matches for the 13th time – losing just nine total games – and then dropped only 15 games in singles, with just one set seeing the Eagles take more than two games. The Irish won every set for the fourth time this spring despite taking the opportunity to rest two of their starters: senior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) and junior Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.).

The Irish won the doubles point for the 18th time in as many matches this spring despite a novel lineup. First off the court was the team of sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.), which beat Vanessa Frankowski of Germany and Yana Parfenyuk of Russia 8-1 at No. 1. The Irish duo, ranked 29th in the nation, has won four in a row and is 26-4 on the season, including 16-2 in dual matches. They are 4-1 when filling in at No. 1, as well as 15-2 vs. Midwest Region opponents.

The clinching victory came from senior captain Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and junior All-American Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), who beat a pair of Canadians, Aditi Krishnan and Elizabeth Syrova, 8-3 at No. 2. The Notre Dame duo was playing together for the first time in their careers, and Connelly took over the team lead in doubles victories, improving to 28-6 on the season, including 17-1 in dual play. She also moved into sole possession of fourth place on the Irish career doubles victories list, with a 102-38 (.729) mark. The only players ahead of her are current assistant coach Michelle Dasso (’01; 109-42 record) and 2002 graduates Lindsey Green (105-41) and Becky Varnum (105-52). Thompson is now 19-3 on the season in doubles, including 13-2 in dual action.

Completing the sweep was the squad of senior Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School) and freshman Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.), who beat Laura Fernandez from the Dominican Republic and Flavia Micati of Brazil 8-5 at No. 3. The Irish team has now won five in a row, dating back to Oct. 21, and is 7-4 on the season (2-0 dual), while Potts has a personal eight-match winning streak in doubles.

Catrina Thompson, ranked 30th in the nation, did not lose a game in singles against Syrova at No. 1. It was the second 6-0, 6-0 win for Thompson this season – having also pitched a shutout at No. 1 against Xavier – and the third of her career. The Irish junior stands 22-9 on the season, including 12-4 in dual play at No. 1. She is 9-1 at home and 12-1 vs. the Midwest Region.

Next done was Potts, who beat Parfenyuk 6-2, 6-1 at No. 4. After seeing her 16-match winning streak snapped on March 15, she has now won five in a row. Potts is 23-4 overall this season, including 17-1 in dual play. She extended three long winning streaks, having now won 18 consecutive indoor singles matches, as well as 12 straight vs. the Midwest Region and 11 in a row at home.

Buck provided the clincher for the second time this season, winning the first 11 games en route to a 6-0, 6-2 win against Krishnan at No. 2. She is 17-9 overall and 11-6 in dual play this season, while also standing 9-2 at home and 11-2 vs. regional foes.

Tefft earned her first victory since entering the national rankings for the first time (at 110th on March 21), beating Frankowski 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3. She ended a two-match skid and is now 21-4 overall and 13-3 in dual play. She is 10-1 in home matches.

Connelly posted her team-high eighth consecutive singles victory, beating Catherina Bestahorn of Germany 6-1, 6-2 at No. 5. The Notre Dame captain has now won 15 consecutive sets, dating back to Nov. 4, and is 13-6 overall this season, including 5-0 in dual play. She has won nine in a row at home and is 11-1 this season inside.

Finishing off the sweep was Nelson, who topped Fernandez 6-2, 6-4 at No. 6. She has won five in a row and improved to 13-2 on the season (2-0 dual). In 2005-06, she is 8-1 indoors and 6-1 vs. regional opponents, while Nelson also stands 7-1 in her career at home.

Eastern Michigan – which had no Americans on its roster – remains winless in five trips to Notre Dame. It was the first meeting in the series since the 2001 NCAA tournament and the first regular-season matchup since 1990. The Irish have now won five straight (dating back to 1987) and hold a 7-2 overall lead in the series.

Notre Dame now stands 9-0 this season against Midwest Region opponents, having dominated every match. The Irish have six 7-0 victories (vs. Ohio State, Xavier, Indiana, Illinois, Western Michigan, and Eastern Michigan), as well as three wins by 6-1 scores (Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa).

The Irish have won 25 consecutive matches against current members of the Mid-American Conference, a streak that dates back to 1989.

Notre Dame will return to action on Sunday, traveling to #39 Purdue for an 11 a.m. (ET) match. Live scoring updates for that contest may be available on

Following that, the Irish will conclude the regular season with three home matches next week. ND will play host to #6 Northwestern on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. (ET) before welcoming DePaul on Friday for a match at the same time and then another BIG EAST Conference opponent, Marquette, on Sunday for a Noon contest. The Wildcats have won seven straight vs. the Irish, including a 4-3 victory in their last visit to Notre Dame, in 2004. Since then, the Irish are 11-0 at home against squads from the Midwest Region.

#2 Notre Dame 7, Eastern Michigan 0SinglesNo. 1:  #30 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. Elizabeth Syrova (EMU) 6-0, 6-0No. 2:  * Brook Buck (ND) def. Aditi Krishnan (EMU) 6-0, 6-2No. 3:  #110 Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Vanessa Frankowski (EMU) 6-0, 6-1No. 4:  Katie Potts (ND) def. Yana Parfenyuk (EMU) 6-2, 6-1No. 5:  Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Catherina Bestahorn (EMU) 6-1, 6-2No. 6:  Kelly Nelson (ND) def. Laura Fernandez (EMU) 6-2, 6-4Order of Finish: 1, 4, 2*, 3, 5, 6DoublesNo. 1:  #29 Buck/Tefft (ND) def. Frankowski/Parfenyuk (EMU) 8-1No. 2:  * Connelly/Ca. Thompson (ND) def. Krishnan/Syrova (EMU) 8-3No. 3:  Nelson/Potts (ND) def. Fernandez/Flavia Micati (EMU) 8-5Order of Finish: 1, 2*, 3* - indicates clinching victory