Senior Katie Potts advanced to the third round of the ITA National Summer Championships.

#5 Irish Beat Illinois For Second Straight 7-0 Victory

March 5, 2006

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The fifth-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team did not drop a set in singles en route to a 7-0 victory against #49 Illinois (4-6) Sunday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish improved to 11-0 for the third time in program history – and first since 1983-84 – and have won all five of their matchups against Big Ten Conference opposition. Notre Dame will conclude a seven-match homestand on Friday, playing host to #50 Western Michigan at 3:30 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Tennis Pavilion.

The Irish won at the bottom two spots to take the doubles point for the 11th time in as many matches this spring and then won all 12 sets in singles for the third time this season. In singles, Notre Dame did not lose more than seven games in any match.

Done first in doubles was the 49th-ranked team of seniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy), who beat Momei Qu and Shivani Dave’ 8-3 at No. 3. The Notre Dame veterans are a perfect 11-0 this spring and stand 22-5 overall this season.

Clinching the point was the 29th-ranked team of sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./ Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.), who beat Brianna Knue and Alejandra Meza Cuadra 8-4 at No. 2. The Irish squad is now 20-3 on the season (10-1 dual), including 12-2 vs. Midwest Region opponents (3-0 against Illinois). Buck and Tefft earned their fourth clinching win this spring.

Illinois’ only success of the day came in the form of an upset of the #2-ranked team in the nation, Irish junior All-America twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). Macall Harkins and Emily Wang earned an 8-4 win against the Thompsons at No. 1 to avoid the doubles sweep. It is just the third defeat in 16 matches this season for the ND juniors.

First off in singles was Buck, who downed Knue 6-0, 6-2 at No. 3. She is now 7-3 in dual singles action and 13-6 overall this season.

Freshman Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) won her 15th consecutive match to make the score 3-0, defeating Dave’ 6-4, 6-1 at No. 6. Potts – whose last defeat came on Oct. 22 – is 17-3 on the season, including 11-0 in dual play. It was the second time the players had hooked up this season, with Potts winning 6-3, 6-1 in Illinois’ Midwest Blast in November.

Stastny claimed her second clinching win of the season, topping Meza Cuadra 6-1, 6-0 at No. 5 to move to 10-1 this spring and 19-5 overall.

After the outcome was determined, 32nd-ranked Christian Thompson beat Qu 6-0, 6-3 at No. 2. It was a reversal of the No. 3 match in last year’s dual contest, when Qu prevailed 6-0, 6-4. Thompson is 15-6 overall this season, including 8-3 in dual play.

Catrina Thompson, ranked 27th, beat Harkins 6-4, 6-3 at No. 1 in the closest singles match to improve to 18-7 this season. Thompson is 8-2 at No. 1 singles this spring and stands 25-10 in her career at the top spot.

Tefft finished off the shutout by beating Wang 6-2, 6-4 at No. 4 for her sixth consecutive victory. The ND rookie is 16-2 as a collegian, including 8-1 in dual play.

Notes: Notre Dame also was 11-0 in 1980-81 and 1983-84 (program-best 15-0) … it is the longest winning streak (at any point in the season) since winning 12 in a row from March 28-May 15, 1999 … the Irish have won 12 in a row at home (8-0 this season), the longest home winning streak since a 13-match stretch from Feb. 4, 2001 – Jan. 26, 2002 … Notre Dame is a perfect 11-0 at No. 6 singles and Nos. 2 and 3 doubles … as a team, Notre Dame is 30-3 in doubles this spring, with 22 of those matches (67%) seeing the opponent win three games or fewer … ND has now won 13 of the last 14 matches against Illinois and leads the all-time series 18-9 … the Illini are now tied with Purdue as the teams defeated most by the Irish in the 30 years of varsity ND women’s tennis … 14 of those wins have come during the 17-year tenure of Irish head coach Jay Louderback, which is tied (along with Michigan and Wisconsin) for the most against any opponent during that time … against the Big Ten this season, Notre Dame has 7-0 wins against Ohio State, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as 6-1 victories at Michigan and vs. Wisconsin … the Irish have won five of their 11 matches by 11-0 scores.

#5 Notre Dame 7, #49 Illinois 0SinglesNo. 1:  #27 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. Macall Harkins (I) 6-4, 6-3No. 2:  #32 Christian Thompson (ND) def. Momei Qu (I) 6-0, 6-3No. 3:  Brook Buck (ND) def. Brianna Knue (I) 6-0, 6-2No. 4:  Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Emily Wang (I) 6-2, 6-4No. 5:  * Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Alejandra Meza Cuadra (I) 6-1, 6-0No. 6:  Katie Potts (ND) def. Shivani Dave' (I) 6-4, 6-1Order of Finish: 3, 6, 5*, 2, 1, 4DoublesNo. 1:  Harkins/Wang (I) def. #2 Thompson/Thompson (ND) 8-4No. 2:  * #29 Buck/Tefft (ND) def. Knue/Meza Cuadra (I) 8-4No. 3:  #49 Lauren Connelly/Stastny (ND) def. Dave'/Qu (I) 8-3Order of Finish: 3, 2*, 1
* - indicates clinching victory