Aug. 18, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Notre Dame junior Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) and sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) won the doubles title Tuesday at the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) National Summer Championships, presented by the United States Tennis Association, at the Indiana University Tennis Center, while Buck was the runner-up in the singles draw – which saw three ND players reach the quarterfinals. With the championship – a first in the event in Irish women’s tennis history – the squad earned a wild card into the main draw of the first grand slam of the 2006-07 season – the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, to be played Oct. 5-8 in Pacific Palisades, Calif. Buck gained a wild card into the singles qualifying draw with her finish.
Buck and Tefft defeated the team of Yasmin Schnack from UCLA and Katrina Tsang of North Carolina by a score of 8-5. The Irish duo, seeded second, got a by in the opening round and then won 8-1 against the Ivy League duo of Ames (from Brown) and Plukas (from Penn). They prevailed 8-2 against Heller and McGaffigan of the host school and then reached the final with an 8-6 win against the Florida duo of Alexander and Liles.
Harvard sophomore Beier Ko beat second-seeded Buck 6-3, 6-3 in the singles final, completing a run that saw her win six matches in four days en route to the title. The Irish junior was attempting to become the first woman since 1999 to sweep the ITA summer titles. Buck opened action with a 6-0, 6-2 victory against Kately Bevard of Penn State and then won 6-4, 6-2 vs. Michigan’s Chisako Sugiyama. She rallied for a 4-6, 6-0, 1-0 (10-8) triumph against Purdue’s Neela Vaez in the round of 16 and then won 6-3, 6-1 against Christian Tara of Wake Forest. Buck then topped Florida’s Alexandria Liles 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 (10-1) to reach the title match.
Tefft also competed in the singles draw, and she knocked off top-seeded Melissa Mang of Duke by scores of 6-3, 6-4 in the round of 16. One of the Nos. 9-16 seeds, Tefft won 6-2, 6-1 against Ohio State’s Julie Voss in the opening round and then beat Saint Louis’ Amanda Hellberg 6-3, 6-3 to set up the meeting with Mang. The Irish sophomore then lost 6-2, 6-4 to UCLA’s Schnack in the quarterfinals.
Notre Dame’s other sophomore, Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.), also was among the final eight in the singles draw. She got a walkover against Cincinnati’s Rachel Owens in the first round and then knocked off the tournament’s No. 3 seed, Lynzee Kever of Marshall, 6-2, 6-0. Potts beat Ohio State’s Ally Muller 6-0, 6-1 and then lost a heartbreaker to Liles by scores of 6-7, 7-6, 1-0 (10-5).
Notre Dame will likely have two teams in the xxxxx-squad main draw of this year’s ITA All-American Championships, as senior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) have reached the title match the last two years, winning ND’s first grand-slam crown last season.
The ITA National Summer Championships presented by the United States Tennis Association (USTA) are the pinnacle of the ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit, which was played at 23 regional sites throughout the country last month. A record 2,624 players participated in ITA Collegiate Summer Circuit events this year. Over 20,000 men and women have competed in circuit events since it began in 1993. The circuit is the brainchild of Indiana head women’s tennis coach Lin Loring and provides college players the opportunity to compete in organized events virtually year round. It is made up of six regional circuits (East, Southeast, Midwest, Central, Southwest and West) and each region consists of four consecutive tournaments played during the month of July, leading up to the ITA National Summer Championships. This was the sixth straight year that Indiana University served as tournament host.
Notre Dame’s incoming freshman class – ranked #1 in the nation by TennisRecruiting.net – had incredible success in the ITA Summer Circuit, winning the singles draw in every event in which at least one of them entered. Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan./Arkansas City H.S.) won the singles title at the Notre Dame event and both the singles and doubles crowns at Kansas State, while Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, Calif./Troy H.S.) won the singles championships at Newport Beach and Pomona, and Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, Kan./Bishop Miege H.S.) did so at Kansas.