Oct. 25, 2004
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) saw her run in the singles draw of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Midwest Championships end Monday morning with a loss in the quarterfinals to the 42nd-ranked player in the nation. Thompson was the last remaining Irish player in the event, which features the top players in the region.
Thompson, ranked 103rd nationally, lost 6-4, 7-5 to senior Katie McGaffigan, who was the top player for Wisconsin last season en route to earning a bid to the NCAA Singles Championship. It was the first defeat in seven matches for the Irish sophomore this fall.
Irish competitors had a number of strong showings in the Midwest Championships. In addition to Thompson’s singles success, freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) was one of only three rookies to reach the round of 16, where she lost to the nation’s #1 player. Senior captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) also won first-round contests in singles to reach the round of 32 before losing to top players. Junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and sophomore Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) earned spots in the main draw, but could not escape the first round. Junior Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.) came one win from making it through qualifying into the main draw, while her classmate, Jennifer Smith (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg H.S.), also competed in qualifying.
In doubles, Buck and Lauren Connelly posted the top results, upsetting one of the Nos. 5-8 seeds before losing a tight match (9-7) in the quarterfinals against the tournament’s top-seeded team (ranked eighth nationally). Stastny and Sarah Jane Connelly won a pair of matches to reach the round of 16 in doubles before falling, while Donohue and Smith also competed in the main draw. The Thompson twins, ranked seventh in the nation, did not compete in doubles because they had already assured themselves of a berth in the second leg of the collegiate grand slam, to which the doubles victor gains automatic entrance.
Notre Dame will return to action in two weeks, when the Thompson twins play in the next grand slam event, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, in Ann Arbor, Mich., from Nov. 4-7, while the rest of the team will head to the Indiana Invitational, slated for Nov. 5-7 in Bloomington. That will be the final weekend of action during the fall portion of the 2004-05 schedule.
The ITA Midwest Championships is an indoor singles and doubles tournament for the top players in the Midwest Region – which consists of every Big Ten Conference team but Penn State, as well as other area schools. It is one of eight regional tournaments taking place across the country this month. The event consists of main draws of 64 in both singles and doubles, with eight spots in singles reserved for winners of a 64-player qualifying bracket. The singles finalists and doubles champions earn automatic entry into the second leg of the collegiate grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, slated for Nov. 4-7 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
ITA Midwest Championships
Singles – Quarterfinals
#42 Katie McGaffigan (Wisconsin) def. #103 Catrina Thompson (Notre Dame) 6-4, 7-5