Feb. 29, 2008
Match Details: #16 Notre Dame (7-6) vs. #2 Georgia Tech (8-2) Saturday, March 1, 1:00 ET Eck Tennis Pavilion, Notre Dame, Ind.
Irish Return Home After Three-Match Road Trip: Notre Dame will play its first home match in almost two weeks when they take to the court at the Eck Pavilion Saturday. The Irish went 1-2 on their ACC trip, posting a victory over Wake Forest (4-3), and dropping decisions to Duke (4-3) and North Carolina (6-1). Kali Krisik continued her impressive sophomore campaign by posting three straight-set victories on the road trip. Krisik was the only member of the team to win all of her singles matches last weekend. She extended her winning streak to 11 matches (all wins coming in straight sets) and has a team-best 21-3 mark in singles.
The Irish continued to play solid doubles last weekend, posting a 6-3 mark in paired play, including a doubles sweep over #8 Duke. The Irish duo of senior Brook Buck and Kelcy Tefft have won five straight decisions, picking up three wins on the road trip. Notre Dame’s No. 1 team is 21-4 this season including 10-2 in dual play. Tefft has also excelled in singles, as the junior has earned four wins in six matches since moving into the No. 1 position, with both losses coming in three sets. Tefft’s win over 16th-ranked Ellah Nze of Duke was a career-high singles win. Her previous best was a victory over 23rd ranked Taylor Ormond of Baylor earlier this season.
Scouting the Yellow Jackets: The 2nd-ranked Yellow Jackets return four of six starters from a team that won Georgia Tech’s first national title in any women’s sport. Tech had a remarkable run last season that began with a win over Stanford in the ITA Indoor Championships semifinal. The win snapped Stanford’s NCAA record 89 match win streak. The Yellow Jackets took the ITA title with a 4-2 win the following day over Notre Dame.
Georgia Tech had been ranked at the top of the polls most of the season before last weekend’s stunning home loss to rival Georgia. The Yellow Jackets had a 3-0 lead in the match before the Bulldogs won the final four matches to earn the 4-3 upset win. Tech rebounded by soundly defeating ACC foe Clemson at home Wednesday afternoon by a 6-1 score.
Kristi Miller leads the charge for the Yellow Jackets who currently have six players on their roster who have singles rankings. Miller, who is ranked sixth in the nation, bested the #1 player in college tennis, Clemson’s Ani Mijacika in a third-set tie breaker Wednesday. Miller is 21-6 this season and 8-1 in dual play.
Sophomore Amanda McDowell is 26-4 this season for Tech and has risen to 4th in the rankings. McDowell won the last 11 matches of her rookie season and has continued that momentum this season.
Atlanta native Whitney McCray also returns from last year’s championship team. McCray, an All-American last season in doubles, has a 16-7 singles mark early in her senior season. Her record has earned her a No. 21 national single raking. She is an athletic player who is a force on the doubles court. McCray’s 9-2 fall record with Miller earned the duo a #19 doubles ranking. McCray is currently partnered with McDowell, with whom she is 4-2 this spring.
Series Against Georgia Tech: The Irish and Yellow Jackets had never met in women’s tennis before last season. The teams met twice in 2007, with Tech prevailing in both matches. The Yellow Jackets defeated the Irish 4-2 last February in Madison, WI to capture the ITA National Indoor Championships, and repeated the feat, besting Notre Dame by the same 4-2 score in the NCAA quarterfinals last May in Athens, GA.
High Profile Matches at the Eck: #2 Georgia Tech will be the highest ranked visitor to take the court at the Eck Tennis Pavilion since #1 Duke defeated #19 Notre Dame on February 21, 2003. Should the Irish spring the upset, it would mark the highest ranked opponent Notre Dame has ever defeated. The Irish are 0-12 all time against teams ranked in the top two in the country.
Top five teams have come to Notre Dame eight times in the program’s history. The Irish are 0-8 in these contests.
Feb. 18, 2005 No. 5 Duke 4, No. 20 Notre Dame 3Feb. 21, 2003 No. 1 Duke 5, No. 19 Notre Dame 2Feb. 1, 2003 No. 5 North Carolina 5, Notre Dame 2Jan. 21, 2001 No. 4 Duke 4, No. 13 Notre Dame 3Feb. 14, 1999 No. 2 Duke 6, No. 16 Notre Dame 3Mar. 10, 1997 No. 5 Texas 6, No. 14 Notre Dame 3Mar. 1, 1997 No. 3 Duke 8, No. 11 Notre Dame 1Jan. 23, 1993 No. 4 Duke 8, No. 22 Notre Dame 1
The highest ranked team Notre Dame has ever defeated at home is No. 7 North Carolina by a 5-2 score on February 16, 2007.
Rankings Update: The Irish dropped one place to #16 in this week’s ITA poll. The singles and doubles rankings did not change this week (new poll due out next week). Kelcy Tefft owns the lone singles ranking for the Irish (#59), while Notre Dame has two ranked doubles teams. Cosmina Ciobanu and Colleen Rielley are ranked 45th while Rielley and Krisik are ranked 50th.