Feb. 26, 2006
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The seventh-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team continued its strong play with a 6-1 victory against #51 Wisconsin (3-7) Sunday in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish – who are 9-0 for the first time since 1984-85 and have won 10 in a row at home – will continue their longest homestand since 1993 on Tuesday by playing host to #31 Indiana at 3 p.m. (EST) in the Eck Pavilion.
Notre Dame – playing without its top player, junior Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), who was forced by an injury out of the lineup for the first time in her collegiate career – won the doubles point for the ninth time in as many matches this spring and then won at the bottom five spots in singles, dropping just one set en route to clinching the victory. The Badgers avoided the shutout with a tight two-set victory at No. 1 singles.
With Thompson out, Notre Dame shifted its Nos. 2 and 3 doubles teams up a spot and tried a new combination – junior All-American Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and freshman Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) – at the bottom position. The Irish continued to dominate at the bottom two spots, losing just four total games en route to victories that clinched the doubles point. Notre Dame continued to be unbeaten at both Nos. 2 and 3 doubles this spring. Wisconsin saved a pair of match points and eventually won a tiebreaker at No. 1, handing Notre Dame – which is now 25-2 in partnered play this spring, with 19 of those matches seeing the opponent win three games or fewer – a rare defeat in doubles.
Off first were Thompson – playing for the first time as a collegian with anyone other than her twin sister – and Potts, who won 8-1 over Morgan Tuttle and Lexi Goldin at No. 3. The Irish won the first five games of the match and broke serve in three of their four receiving games.
Seniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) clinched the doubles point for the fourth time this spring (a team high) with an 8-3 victory against Elizabeth Carpenter and Chelsea Nusslock at No. 2. The Irish duo, ranked 49th in the nation, leads the team in doubles wins this season with a 20-5 mark, including 9-0 in dual action (2-0 at No. 2).
It was a battle of top-30 squads at the top position, where Caitlin Burke and Nicole Beck eventually prevailed 8-7 (7-1) against Irish sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.). The ND team, ranked 29th in the nation, served for the match at 7-6 and had a pair of match points, but could not convert them, and the 30th-ranked Badgers got up early in the tiebreaker and did not look back. Buck and Tefft – playing at No. 1 for the second time – had an 11-match winning streak ended and fell for the first time since Oct. 23, 2005.
Potts finished first in singles, downing another freshman, Erin Jobe, 6-1, 6-1 at No. 5 for her 13th consecutive victory (dating back to Oct. 22). She was playing at No. 5 for the first time.
Buck moved up to the No. 2 spot – where she played all of last season – for the first time this spring and beat Beck 6-1, 6-1 there to make it 3-0. She is 11-6 on the season, including 5-3 in dual action. It was the second time this season that the players had met, with Buck winning 6-3, 6-1 on Nov. 6 in Midwest Blast VII in Urbana, Ill.
Clinching the victory for the second time in as many singles appearances this season was Connelly, who won 6-1, 6-0 against Tuttle at No. 6. The Irish team captain has won five straight and is 10-6 on the season. She has 11 career match-clinching victories to her credit and has won seven in a row at home.
Tefft moved up to the No. 3 spot for the first time and beat Nusslock 6-1, 6-3 to improve to 14-2 on the season, including 6-1 in dual action.
Stastny made it 6-0 by winning a match tiebreaker at No. 4 against Carpenter to complete a 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9) victory. The Badger had a match point, leading 9-8 in the super `breaker, but the Irish senior battled back. Stastny is 17-5 on the season, including 8-1 in dual action.
In the final match, 28th-ranked Burke beat #32 Christian Thompson 6-4, 6-4 at No. 1. It was the first time in her career that Thompson occupied the top spot in the lineup.
Notre Dame avenged a 4-3 road defeat against the Badgers in 2005 and has now won nine of the last 11 vs. Wisconsin and leads the all-time series 14-7.
#7 Notre Dame 6, #51 Wisconsin 1SinglesNo. 1: #28 Caitlin Burke (W) def. #32 Christian Thompson (ND) 6-4, 6-4No. 2: Brook Buck (ND) def. Nicole Beck (W) 6-1, 6-1No. 3: Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Chelsea Nusslock (W) 6-1, 6-3No. 4: Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Elizabeth Carpenter 6-3, 4-6, 1-0 (11-9)No. 5: Katie Potts (ND) def. Erin Jobe (W) 6-1, 6-1No. 6: * Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Morgan Tuttle (W) 6-1, 6-0Order of Finish: 5, 2, 6*, 3, 4, 1DoublesNo. 1: #30 Burke/Beck (W) def. #29 Buck/Tefft (ND) 8-7 (7-1)No. 2: * #49 Connelly/Stastny (ND) def. Carpenter/Nusslock (W) 8-3No. 3: Potts/Thompson def. Tuttle/Lexi Goldin (W) 8-1Order of Finish: 3, 2*, 1
* - indicates clinching victory