April 2, 2008
For the second time in four days, the Notre Dame women’s tennis team defeated a familiar in-state foe, knocking off Purdue Wednesday afternoon in West Lafayette by a 7-0 count. The Irish (14-7) ran their winning streak to seven matches and defeated a Big Ten opponent for the fifth time this season.
After sweeping the doubles point, the Irish got off to a shaky start in singles, dropping two of the six first sets contested and winning a third in a tiebreaker. The Irish would rebound in time to earn to shutout, their fourth of the season and third in seven matches.
Junior Katie Potts put on a clinic at No. 6 singles to give the Irish their first singles point. The Notre Dame veteran was the first Irish player off the court following a 6-0, 6-0 win over Alejandra Boeker. Potts dominated throughout, earning her first “bagel” of the year. She won for the third time in as many matches and ran her record to 16-8 this season including 3-0 when playing No. 6.
Kali Krisik thwarted a furious comeback attempt from Anna Dzeva at No. 5 to earn her team-high 27th win of the campaign. After running away with the first set 6-0, the Notre Dame sophomore survived a second set that was decided in a tiebreaker. The win improved Krisik’s career mark to 43-10, good for an .811 winning percentage. Wednesday’s win moved Krisik into third place on the Notre Dame all-time singles winning percentage list (minimum 25 matches played), passing Mary Legeay (1979-81).
The clinching victory came from Kelcy Tefft at the No. 1 position, a 6-3, 6-1 triumph over Brooke Beier. After battling in the first set, Tefft sprinted out to a 4-1 lead in the second set and earned the easy straight-set win. The Notre Dame junior improved to 17-4 on the year including 10-4 at the top singles spot. Tefft, the Irish’s highest ranked singles player at #41, won for the sixth time in seven matches.
Sophomore Colleen Rielley rebounded from a loss Sunday against Indiana by posting a come-from-behind win at No. 4 over Joanna Craven. Rielley dropped the first set 7-5, losing the last two games. She turned the tables, however in the second set, coming through with the set tied at five games apiece to earn a hold and a break to force a decisive set. The Irish sophomore used the momentum from her second set win to jump out to an early lead she would not relinquish in the third set, which she won 6-3. It was the first win for Rielley this season when dropping the first set. She accomplished that feat five times last season. The sophomore stands at 16-12 this season and 10-9 in dual play.
While Rielley was battling through a third set, fellow sophomore Cosmina Ciobanu was busy battling Cigdem Duru in a match tiebreaker. Ciobanu won the first set over Duru in a tiebreaker before dropping the second set by a 6-3 count. With the match on the line, Ciobanu, playing in her first match tiebreaker this season, won a closely contested game by a 10-7 count. The Irish sophomore was not the first ranked player to be challenged by Duru this season. The Purdue senior recently earned a set in a loss to 25th-ranked Sam Murray of Northwestern. Ciobanu’s win was her fourth in three sets this season and improved her mark to 20-15. She has played the most singles matches of any Irish player.
The shutout was clinched when captain Brook Buck closed the door on Stephanie Wooten 6-7, 6-0, 6-3. The senior responded from a disappointing first set to earn the shut out in the second. The third set was closely contested, with neither player holding more than a one game advantage early. Buck broke through at 4-3 in the set to win the match’s final two games and earn the win. The Irish senior was playing in her ninth three-set contest of the year in 27 total matches. She is 4-5 in those matches and 13-14 on the season.
The doubles point went the way of the Irish for the eighth consecutive match. Buck and Tefft, ranked #1 in the nation for the third consecutive poll, won their 28th match of the year, an 8-2 decision over Beier and Wooten. The win was the 12th in 13 matches for Buck and Tefft who lead the team in doubles wins.
Rielley and Ciobanu clinched the doubles point with a similarly dominant 8-4 decision over Craven and Duru at No. 2. The Notre Dame sophomores remain the team’s hottest doubles pair, having won 14 of 15 matches together this season.
Potts stepped in for the injured Kristen Rafael and partnered with Kali Krisik to complete the doubles sweep at No. 3. The duo defeated Whitney Reys and Boeker 8-6. The Notre Dame team trailed 6-5 in the match before winning the contest’s final three games to secure the win. The pair won for the second time in three matches together this season.
Notre Dame will continue its Big Ten road trip Friday evening when they take on #46 Iowa in Iowa City. First serve is scheduled for 4:00 CT at the Hawkeye Athletic and Recreation Complex.