May 13, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The sixth-seeded and seventh-ranked Notre Dame women’s tennis team rode the momentum from a top-notch doubles performance to a 4-0 victory over 23rd-ranked Michigan in second round action of the 2007 NCAA Women’s Tennis Tournament. Notre Dame will face 11th-seeded North Carolina on Friday, May 18 at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex in Athens, Ga.
Freshman Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, KS) clinched the victory and locked up Notre Dame’s second consecutive NCAA Tournament Round of 16 appearance and seventh in program history.
Rielley cruised through the opening set in her match against Kara Delicata at No. 3 singles, 6-3, but Delicata answered with a 6-4 victory in the second set. Rielley re-gained her first set form in the critical third set and breezed to a 6-1 win. She improves to 29-10 overall and 18-7 in dual matches. Rielley is quite accustomed to three-set matches, as she leads the Irish in three-set victories with nine (9-6). The next Notre Dame player on the list is Christian Thompson with five (5-3).
Sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) was the first off the court for the Irish. Tefft started quite slowly, trailing 2-0 in the opening set, but rebounded with six straight games to secure a 6-2 victory. She remained in control and coasted to another 6-2 victory in the second set to give Notre Dame a 2-0 advantage. Tefft now stands 26-7 overall and 21-4 in dual action. She also extended her winning streak to five matches.
Junior Brook Buck (Yukon, OK) gave the Irish a 3-0 lead with her straight-set triumph over Tanvi Dudhels at No. 6, 6-0, 6-2. Buck improves to 15-5 overall and 12-1 in dual action. She has won 11 straight matches overall – a winning streak that dates all the way back to Feb. 4.
Senior #30 Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV), senior #124 Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) and freshman #69 Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) all took the opening sets in their respective matches, but each were abandoned once the team result was completed.
The Irish grabbed an early stranglehold on the match following doubles action. Notre Dame captured the doubles point for the seventh consecutive match and 26th time in its 30 matches.
Ciobanu and fellow freshman Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, KS) had not trouble in disposing of Lindsay Howard and Allie Shafner, 8-1. Ciobanu and Krisik improve to 22-5 overall and 15-4 in dual matches. They have won six consecutive matches and 12 of their last 14.
Buck and Tefft, ranked 22nd in the most recent ITA poll, knocked off Delicata and Mahtani, 8-4. They struggle early in the match, trailing 4-3, before taking command of the match and winning the final five games to secure the victory. Buck and Tefft lead Notre Dame doubles’ teams with eight clinching victories.
The All-American Thompson twins, 12th in the country, led their match against Kuehn and Sugiyama, 7-4, when the Irish clinched the doubles point.
The 27 victories equal last season’s record setting campaign for most in single-season Notre Dame history. The Irish went 27-2 a year ago, before bowing out of the NCAA Tournament in the quarterfinals.
Notre Dame faced North Carolina already this season. The Irish took down the Tar Heels, 5-2, back on Feb. 16.
— ND —