Jan. 27, 2006
#22 Notre Dame (0-0) vs. Ohio State (2-0)Saturday, January 28, 11 a.m. (EST) â€¢ Eck Tennis Pavilion â€¢ Notre Dame, Indiana- Live Scoring Updates: und.com
#22 Notre Dame vs. Xavier (0-0)Saturday, January 28, 4 p.m. (EST) â€¢ Eck Tennis Pavilion â€¢ Notre Dame, Indiana- Live Scoring Updates: und.com
IRISH SET TO OPEN DUAL SEASON SATURDAY WITH HOME DOUBLEHEADER: The 22nd-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will begin the dual-match portion of its 30th varsity season on Saturday. The Irish will play host to a pair of Midwest Region opponents, welcoming Ohio State to the Eck Tennis Pavilion for an 11 a.m. (EST) match before taking on Xavier at 4 p.m. Notre Dame will look to extend its 10-match winning streak against the Buckeyes and will take on the Musketeers for the first time since 1978.
OHIO STATE AT A GLANCE: Ohio State opened the dual-match season last weekend with 7-0 victories against Cincinnati and Bowling Green … the Buckeyes return five letterwinners and three of seven starters from last year’s squad that was 7-19 and finished ninth in the Big Ten Conference (2-8 record) … OSU was ranked 49th in the preseason in 2004-05, but then fell out of the rankings in April … head coach Chuck Merzbacher is in his 10th season at Ohio State, having compiled a 125-109 (.534) record … he is in his 17th year overall as a head coach, with a 258-172 (.600) mark, including 2-10 against Notre Dame.
IRISH-BUCKEYES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Ohio State will meet for the ninth consecutive season and 17th time overall, with the Irish holding a 13-3 advantage in the series, including 10 consecutive victories … the last time the Buckeyes beat Notre Dame was a 7-2 decision in Columbus, Ohio, in 1990, the first season for Jay Louderback as Irish head coach … since then, the closest matches were a trio of 5-2 affairs in consecutive years from 2002-04 … last year, #21 Notre Dame opened its dual-match slate with a 6-1 win at #49 OSU, sweeping the doubles and winning the top five in singles (four in straight sets) … the Irish won a match tiebreaker at No. 4, and the Buckeyes took one at No. 6 for their only point … there were a pair of ND-OSU tilts in the ITA Midwest Championships in October, with Irish junior Catrina Thompson beating Sonia Ruzimovsky 6-2, 6-1 in the opening round, and the Buckeyes’ duo of Ruzimovsky and Angela DiPastina beat Kelly Nelson and Katie Potts 8-6 in the second round of the doubles draw … OSU won 5-4 in 1987 in its first-ever visit to Notre Dame, but the Irish have won all six home matches since then by at least three points … the first contest in the series was a 7-2 ND win in Columbus in 1985 … the Buckeyes won three of four meetings from 1987-90, but those have been their lone victories in the series … this will be the 10th time in the last 11 meetings that the Irish hold a higher national ranking at the time of the match, and ND is 9-0 when that is the case … OSU head coach Chuck Merzbacher is 2-10 in his career against the Irish, having gone 2-2 during his time at Kansas (1992-96).
XAVIER AT A GLANCE: Xavier will play its first dual match on Friday at Valparaiso before visiting the Eck Tennis Pavilion … the Musketeers return seven letterwinners and four of six starters from last year’s squad that was 17-7 and finished third in the Atlantic 10 Conference in both the regular season (5-1 record) and league tournament … head coach Jim Brockhoff is in his 33rd season at Xavier, having compiled a 416-231 (.643) record, including 1-1 against Notre Dame.
IRISH-MUSKETEERS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Xavier will meet for just the second time … the only prior dual-match meeting came in the third season of varsity Irish tennis, when Notre Dame downed the Musketeers 8-1 on Oct. 1, 1978, at the Courtney Tennis Center … the Irish hold a 3-0 all-time record against current members of the Atlantic 10 Conference, having also posted victories against George Washington and Saint Louis … this will be the first time Notre Dame has taken on a current A10 member since beating the Billikens in 1985-86 … Irish freshman Katie Potts’ sister, Sarah Potts, is a senior on the Musketeers … Xavier head coach – in his 44th season as the head men’s tennis coach and his 33rd leading the women’s program – is 0-2 in his career against the Irish, having also dropped a match with ND’s men’s team in 1977-78.
THOMPSONS REGAIN NATIONAL #1 RANKING: Notre Dame junior 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.
ND TIED FOR 22ND IN FILA COLLEGIATE TENNIS RANKINGS: The Irish are tied with South Carolina for 22nd in the first set of Fila Collegiate Tennis Rankings administered by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA), which were released on Jan. 10. It is the 15th consecutive season that the Irish are among the top 25 in the preseason ITA rankings. The Irish are one of a pair of BIG EAST Conference teams in the rankings, as newcomer South Florida – which will host the conference tournament from April 19-22 – is 45th. It is the first time the league has had two squads in the top 50 since the final set of rankings in 2003-04, when Miami was 15th, and Notre Dame was 27th.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Jay Louderback is in his 17th season at Notre Dame with a 283-147 (.659) record and his 26th year as a collegiate coach with a 487-325 (.600) 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 202 of 204 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.
START ME UP: Notre Dame has won eight of its last 10 season openers, 10 of its last 12 home openers and 12 of its last 13 road opening matches. Under Jay Louderback, the Irish are 10-6 in season openers and 13-3 in both home openers and road openers. Last season, Notre Dame won 6-1 at Ohio State to begin the spring, but then fell 6-1 to #6 Vanderbilt in the home opener.
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.
STREAKS: The following streaks are active heading into this weekend:
– Notre Dame has won 10 consecutive meetings with Ohio State. [last loss: 4/8/90 at Ohio State, 7-2]
– Notre Dame has won 62 consecutive matches against unranked teams. [last loss: 2/20/94 vs. Northwestern, 7-2]
– Notre Dame has won 18 consecutive matches against teams from Ohio. [last loss: 4/8/90 at Ohio State, 7-2]
– Notre Dame has won four consecutive home matches. [last loss: 2/26/05vs. #13 Texas, 4-3]
– Notre Dame has won 23 consecutive home matches against teams ranked outside the top 25. [last loss: 2/3/02 vs. #40 Indiana, 5-2]
– Notre Dame has won 14 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]
– Brook Buck has won four consecutive singles matches. [last loss: 10/22/05 vs. Michigan’s Debra Streifler 7-5, 6-1]
– Brook Buck has won 23 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]
– 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 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]
– Katie Potts has won four consecutive singles matches. [last loss: 10/22/05 vs. Northwestern’s Nazlie Ghazal 7-5, 6-4]
– Kelcy Tefft has won four consecutive singles matches. [last loss: 10/22/05 vs. Purdue’s Randi Schuler 6-2, 6-3]
– Kelcy Tefft is 8-0 as a collegian when winning the opening set.
– Catrina Thompson has won six consecutive singles matches in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. [last loss: 2/18/05 vs. Duke’s Katie Blaszak 6-1, 6-7, 6-2]
– Catrina Thompson has won five consecutive home doubles matches. [last loss: 2/26/05 vs. Texas’ Katie Ruckert/Kendra Strohm 8-5]
– Christian Thompson has lost 11 consecutive matches when losing the opening set. [last win: 4/4/04 vs. Miami’s Melissa Applebaum 1-6, 7-5, 6-3]
– Christian Thompaon is 8-0 in her career in singles matches against BIG EAST Conference players.
– Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft have won three consecutive matches. [last loss: 10/23/05 vs. Northwestern’s Cristelle Grier/Alexis Prousis 8-4]
– Catrina Thompson/Christian Thompson has won four consecutive matches in dual action. [last loss: 4/14/05 vs. Northwestern’s Audra Cohen/Cristelle Grier 8-4]
MOST WINS VS. ONE TEAM: See pdf for the list of schools Notre Dame has defeated most in its 30 seasons of varsity women’s tennis.
MOST WINS IN LOUDERBACK ERA: See pdf for the list of schools Notre Dame has defeated most in since head coach Jay Louderback began his tenure in 1989-90.
IRISH TO FACE SEVEN TOP-25 TEAMS: Eight teams that finished the 2004-05 campaign in the top 20 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings – including seven that reached the final 16 of the NCAA Championship – highlight the 2005-06 schedule. In all, 17 of the 23 teams on Notre Dame’s schedule began the spring among the top 55 in the nation, while 15 earned bids to the NCAAs. The Irish also lost a third-set tiebreaker in the final match on court (and a tiebreaker in the decisive doubles match) in a 4-3 exhibition decision in the fall against USC, which is ranked fifth.
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 204 of 206 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.
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.