Colleen Rielley and doubles partner Cosmina Ciobanu will look to extend their six-match winning streak this week.

#22 Irish Face Busy Week, Square off Against Purdue, Iowa, and Syracuse

April 1, 2008

Match Details: #22 Notre Dame (13-7) at Purdue (3-10)        Wednesday, April 2, 2008, 1:00 p.m.        Schwartz Tennis Center, West Lafayette, IN
#22 Notre Dame at #39 Iowa (11-4) Friday, April 4, 2008, 4:00 p.m. (CT) Hawkeye Athletic and Recreation Complex, Iowa City, IA
#22 Notre Dame vs. Syracuse (9-11, 6-4 Big East) Sunday, April 6, 2008, 12:00 p.m. (or after men's match) Courtney Tennis Center, Notre Dame, IN

Irish on longest win streak this season: The Notre Dame women’s tennis team is coming off a 6-1 win over Indiana last Sunday, their sixth in row. The Irish dropped just three sets in singles play and cruised to their second win over a top 25 team this season. The Hoosiers were the second highest-ranked team the Irish have defeated this season. The top-ranked team of Brook Buck and Kelcy Tefft bounced back from a loss earlier in the week to SMU to post their team leading 27th doubles win, and both players won singles matches in straight sets. The Irish also defeated SMU Monday afternoon 5-1 in Dallas with the help of three defaults from the Mustangs at the bottom of the singles lineup.

Notre Dame kicks of four-match home stand to close the regular season: The match against Syracuse Sunday marks the beginning of a set of four home matches in eight days to close out the 2008 regular season. The Irish are 7-1 at home this season with the lone defeat coming at the hands of #2 Georgia Tech. The twelve total home matches is three more than last season when Notre Dame played just nine regular season matches in South Bend. Notre Dame currently has a 5-4 mark on the road this year and is 1-2 on neutral courts.

Streak’s Alive: Colleen Rielley and Cosmina Ciobanu have paired up to win six doubles matches in a row, good for the longest streak on the team. The pair has won 13 of 14 total matches this season…. Senior Brook Buck has won five singles contests in a row, the longest active streak on the team and the longest streak for Buck this season…Notre Dame has won the doubles point seven consecutive matches, including four sweeps. The Irish last dropped the initial point February 24 at North Carolina…The Irish are 17-3 this season at #6 singles with eleven of those wins coming from Kali Krisik…. Should the Irish win two matches this week, it will mark the fourth consecutive season the Irish have finished with at least 15 wins.

Women take part in tennis doubleheader: Irish tennis fans will be treated to a rare doubleheader Sunday afternoon. The women will face Syracuse at 12:00 p.m. after the men will take on the Tribe of William & Mary at 10:00 a.m. Both matches are scheduled to be played outside. Should weather interfere, the women’s match will be played immediately following the men’s match inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Sunday will mark the first time the men’s and women’s teams have played at home on the same day since last year’s NCAA tournament on May 12 when the women defeated UIC 4-0 in first round action and the men shutout Wisconsin in second round play.

Scouting the Boilermakers: After finishing 13-9 last season to earn 6th place in the Big Ten, Purdue has struggled this season winning just three of thirteen matches. They recently snapped an eight-match losing streak with a 4-3 home win over Wisconsin. Purdue’s best win this season was a 6-1 home triumph over then-66th ranked Western Michigan in January. Senior Stephanie Wooten leads Purdue with an 8-5 mark at singles this season splitting time between the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Wooten has a 7-4 mark in dual singles play this year. Brooke Beier and Cigdem Duru also provide senior leadership for Purdue. Beier has posted a solid 6-7 mark this year at No. 1 singles, while Duru, despite a 5-11 record recently, won a set over 25th -ranked Sam Murray of Northwestern in the Wildcats’ win over Purdue. Beier and Wooten lead the charge in doubles as the pair has posted a 4-3 record at the No. 1 position.

Series against Purdue: Notre Dame leads the all-time series against Purdue 20-6, including 14-2 with Jay Louderback at the helm. The Irish have won the last three meetings against Purdue including last year’s 6-1 victory at home over the Boilermakers. The last Purdue win came in 2004 when the Boilers upset #27 Notre Dame 4-3 in West Lafayette.

Scouting the Hawkeyes: After starting the year 8-0, Iowa has struggled, losing 4 of its last 7 contests including three to Big Ten foes. The Hawkeyes are coming off a 2007 season that saw them post a 7-3 mark in the Big Ten conference, good for fourth in the league. Iowa has defeated two ranked foes this season, #57 Minnesota (6-1) and #59 DePaul (4-3), and is coming off a 5-2 triumph over Penn State. Senior Milica Veselinovic boasts a 20-5 singles mark this season to lead Iowa. She is 14-1 in dual play this year splitting time at the No. 1 and No. 2 positions.

Series against Iowa: The Irish have dominated the all-time series with the Hawkeyes, winning 14 of 15 all time meetings. The lone Hawkeye win came in the 1999 NCAA tournament second round when #38 Iowa upset #12 Notre Dame in South Bend 5-4. The Irish and Hawkeyes have met two other times in NCAA competition, with Notre Dame taking 4-1 wins in both 2004 and 2005. Notre Dame won last year’s meeting by a 7-0 count at the Eck Pavilion.

Scouting the Orange: Syracuse is led by former professional tennis player and ESPN broadcaster Luke Jensen, who led the Orange to a fifth place finish at the Big East Tournament in 2007, his first season as Syracuse coach. Syracuse has won three matches in a row defeating Villanova, Colgate at St. John’s in three home contests. Prior to those wins however, the Orange had lost seven matches in a row including two 6-1 defeats at the hands of Notre Dame opponents and nationally ranked foes South Florida and DePaul.

The Orange lack a senior on their roster and have five freshmen on this year’s squad. Rookie Christina Tan plays the No. 1 singles spot for Syracuse and her 9-11 record mirrors that of the team. The most experienced member of the Orange is junior Maria Vasilyeva, and she has the most wins of any player on the team with 14. She is 10-5 this season at No. 3. Syracuse has had difficulty finding consistency in doubles, especially at the No. 1 position where the Orange is just 6-14 on the year. Three pairs have played No. 1 in a match for Syracuse this season with Tan and Simone Kalhorn posting the best mark at 3-4.

Series against Syracuse: Sunday will mark just the fifth time in history that Notre Dame and Syracuse will meet in women’s tennis. The Irish have won all four previous meetings by a combined score of 24-2. Notre Dame last played Syracuse in the 2005 Big East tournament, including a 4-0 Notre Dame win. The Irish and Orange have played three times on neutral courts and twice in the Big East tournament. Notre Dame has never played a match at Syracuse.

Rankings Update: Notre Dame slipped three places in the latest ITA rankings to #22. New singles and doubles rankings were due out this week but were unavailable at the time of this release.