April 21, 2005
BIG EAST Championship
Thursday, April 21
Quarterfinals, 9 a.m. (EDT) –  St. John’s (7-3, 3-2) vs.  West Virginia (15-6, 6-2)
Quarterfinals, 9 a.m. –  Syracuse (12-7, 5-1) vs.  Seton Hall (13-5, 7-2)
Friday, April 22
Semifinals, 9 a.m. –  #25 Notre Dame (12-9, 1-0) vs. St. John’s/West Virginia
Semifinals, Noon –  Boston College (11-8, 3-1) vs. Syracuse/Seton Hall
Fifth-Place Match, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 23
Third-Place Match, Noon
NOTRE DAME AIMS FOR SIXTH BIG EAST TITLE: The top-seeded and 25th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (12-9, 1-0) will look for its fifth title in the BIG EAST Conference Championship this weekend at the University of South Florida in Tampa. The Irish, who gained a first-round bye in the six-team event, open play against either fourth-seeded St. John’s (7-3, 3-2) or fifth-seeded West Virginia (15-6, 6-2) on Friday at 9 a.m. (EDT) in semifinal action, while the title match is slated for Saturday at Noon. Notre Dame has reached the final in all nine years since becoming a conference member, winning championships in 1996, ’97, ’99, 2001, and ’03.
HOTLINE TO FEATURE IN-MATCH UPDATES: Fans and media unable to attend the 2005 BIG EAST Conference Tennis Championships will be able to keep up with the action via the Notre Dame Sports Hotline, which will feature in-match updates during all Notre Dame women’s and men’s matches. The hotline will be updated at the top and bottom of each hour, with the possibility of more frequent updates if the action is tight. These reports can be accessed by dialing (574) 631-3000 and selecting option #8 for tennis. In addition, the official athletic website of the University of Notre Dame, www.und.com, will feature recaps of all the Irish action at the end of each day.
IRISH IN THE BIG EAST CHAMPIONSHIP: Notre Dame was named the No. 1 seed in the 2005 BIG EAST Conference Women’s Tennis Championship, which will takes place Thursday through Saturday at the University of South Florida in Tampa. For the fifth straight year, the format of the event will be a single-elimination tournament of the top six teams in the league, as selected by the conference, with the top two seeds gaining first-round byes. The winner receives the BIG EAST’s automatic berth into the NCAA Championship, which begins at campus sites on May 13. The Irish have earned the No. 1 seed every year but one (2003) since joining the conference, advancing to the final each time to face Miami, winning titles in 1996, `97, `99, 2001, and `03.
Play gets underway Thursday morning with fourth-seeded St. John’s and the fifth seed, West Virginia, playing at 9 a.m (EDT). In the other quarterfinal matchup, the No. 3 seed, Syracuse, will face sixth-seeded Seton Hall at noon. The semifinals are set for Friday with the Irish taking on the SJU-WVU winner at 9 a.m., followed by second-seeded Boston College facing the Syracuse-SHU winner at noon. Friday’s losing teams will play at 3 p.m. Saturday for fifth place. The championship is slated for Saturday at Noon, as is the third-place match.
Sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) is a leading candidate for the BIG EAST Championship Most Outstanding Player, as she is the highest-ranked player in the conference, at 37th. She also is fifth in doubles with her twin sister, Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). Irish freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School is the only other BIG EAST player in the national singles rankings (102nd), and she is also 59th in doubles, along with junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.). Past Notre Dame winners of the award were Jennifer Hall in 1996 and current Notre Dame assistant coach Michelle Dasso in 2000 and ’01.
Head coach Jay Louderback has been named BIG EAST Coach of the Year five times (1996, ’97, ’99, 2000, ’01), and figures to once again be a candidate for that award, as his squad is the only one in the league to be in the national rankings (which rank 75).
In 2003, the conference began also naming six singles players and three doubles teams to its all-tournament team. Senior captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) was a selection in both singles and doubles in 2003, as was Christian Thompson a year ago. In doubles, Lauren Connelly and junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) gained mention on the league’s first all-tournament team, while Catrina Thompson was honored in ’04.
YEAR-BY-YEAR: See below Notre Dame’s year-by-year results in the BIG EAST tournament:
1996 -- Champion (No. 1 seed)Second RoundNotre Dame 4, St. John's 0SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Boston College 0FinalNotre Dame 4, Miami 0Most Outstanding Player -- Jennifer HallCoach of the Year -- Jay Louderback
1997 -- Champion (No. 1 seed)Second RoundNotre Dame 4, Providence 0SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Rutgers 0FinalNotre Dame 4, Miami 0Coach of the Year -- Jay Louderback
1998 -- Runner-Up (No. 1 seed)Second RoundNotre Dame 4, Georgetown 0SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, West Virginia 0FinalMiami 4, Notre Dame 2
1999 -- Champion (No. 1 seed)Second RoundNotre Dame 5, Rutgers 0SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Syracuse 0FinalNotre Dame 4, Miami 2Coach of the Year -- Jay Louderback
2000 -- Runner-Up (No. 1 seed)Second RoundNotre Dame 6, Rutgers 0SemifinalsNotre Dame 5, Seton Hall 0FinalMiami 5, Notre Dame 2Most Outstanding Player -- Michelle DassoCoach of the Year -- Jay Louderback
2001 -- Champion (No. 1 seed)SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Virginia Tech 0FinalNotre Dame 4, Miami 1Most Outstanding Player -- Michelle DassoCoach of the Year -- Jay Louderback
2002 -- Runner-Up (No. 1 seed)SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Boston College 1FinalMiami 4, Notre Dame 1
2003 -- Champion (No. 2 seed)SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Boston College 0FinalNotre Dame 4, Miami 3
2004 - Runner-Up (No. 1 seed)SemifinalsNotre Dame 4, Virginia Tech 0FinalMiami 4, Notre Dame 0
NOTRE DAME 23-0 ALL-TIME AGAINST CURRENT BIG EAST SCHOOLS: The Irish enter the postseason boasting a 22-0 all-time record against current members of the BIG EAST Conference. The most competitive series has been with Boston College, where the Eagles have scored points on Notre Dame five times in 11 matches. Twice BC scored two points, losing 5-2 in 1991 in the first-ever meeting and 7-2 a year later. Only two other teams have scored points on the Irish. Rutgers fell 7-2 in Hilton Head, S.C., in 1987, while Syracuse fell 8-1 in both 1997 and ’98. In addition to being 11-0 vs. the Eagles, ND is 3-0 vs. Rutgers and Syracuse, 2-0 against West Virginia, and 1-0 vs. Georgetown, Providence, St. John’s, and Seton Hall.
IRISH-RED STORM SERIES NOTES: Should Notre Dame and St. John’s play in the semifinals, it would be just the second-ever matchup between the schools in women’s tennis. The previous contest came in the quarterfinals of the 1996 BIG EAST Championship, when the top-seeded Irish prevailed 4-0 against the eighth-seeded Red Storm.
IRISH HEAD COACH: Jay Louderback is in his 16th season at Notre Dame with a 279-145 (.658) record and his 26th year as a collegiate coach with a 483-323 (.599) mark. He ranks fifth among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories. Louderback’s Irish have finished in the national top 30 in each of the last 12 seasons and have won 11 conference titles. Since the preseason of the 1992-93 season, Louderback’s teams have been in the national top 30 in 188 of 189 sets of ITA rankings. After taking over a program looking for its first NCAA tournament appearance, Louderback has helped Notre Dame to the NCAAs 11 times in the last 12 years, including five appearances in the round of 16 and a 1996 quarterfinal finish. Louderback, a four-time Midwest Region coach of the year, has been honored as his conference’s top coach on eight occasions, including five times in nine years in the BIG EAST. In his time at Notre Dame, Louderback’s players have earned All-America honors 13 times, won four national ITA awards, and earned 19 invitations to the NCAA Singles Championship and 11 to the NCAA doubles tournament. His players have dominated the University awards during Louderback’s tenure, leading all sports in both Byron V. Kanaley awards (six) and Francis Patrick O’Connor awards (five). His family was honored with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis Family of the Year Award for 2002. The Arkansas City, Kan., native, and 1976 graduate of Wichita State arrived at Notre Dame prior to the 1989-90 season after coaching for seven years at his alma mater and three years (men and women) at Iowa State.
ITA RANKINGS: After beating Illinois and losing to #3 Northwestern last week, Notre Dame moved up one spot to 25th in the latest edition of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings. The Irish were 21st to begin the spring before peaking at 20th (Feb. 15 and 22) and then falling to 31st (April 5) prior to climbing back into the top 25. Notre Dame has two ranked singles players and a pair of ranked doubles teams. Sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) is 37th in singles and fifth in doubles, with her twin sister, Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). Freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Bishop Gorman H.S.) is 102nd in singles and 59th in doubles, along with junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.).
TOP HEAVY: Notre Dame’s strongest positions in both singles and doubles this season have been the No. 1 spots, largely thanks to sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). In singles, Thompson – who played No. 3 last season – has compiled a 14-7 record. She also holds a 17-4 mark at No. 1 doubles, playing most of the time with her twin sister, sophomore Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), while also going unbeaten in two matches with junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy). Notre Dame’s second-best spot in singles has been No. 5, where it is 13-8. In doubles, the Irish are 14-7 at both Nos. 2 and 3.
Catrina Thompson NOTCHES HISTORIC WIN OVER #3 AUDRA COHEN: Sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), ranked 37th nationally in singles, upset the nation’s #3-ranked player, Audra Cohen of Northwestern, 6-2, 6-2 on April 14. The freshman phenom, who came into the match with a 39-4 record, had not previously lost a straight-set decision in 43 collegiate matches. Cohen began the season with 23 consecutive victories, claiming the singles titles in the first leg of the grand slam, the Riviera/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships and ascending to the national #1 ranking. It was the highest-ranked victory of Thompson’s career and is the third time this spring that she has accomplished that feat. After her top win was previously an upset of #39 Megan Muth of William & Mary in the fall of 2003, Thompson topped #27 Courtney Bergman of Harvard 6-1, 6-4 on Feb. 11 and then beat #26 Aniela Mojzis of North Carolina nine days later. The last time a Notre Dame player defeated one of the nation’s top three players in singles was Jan. 21, 2001, when current assistant coach Michelle Dasso, ranked third at the time, defeated #2 Ansley Cargill of Duke 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles in dual-match action.
CLINCHING CONNELLY: Senior captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) has to her credit 22 career victories that have clinched the doubles point for Notre Dame, more than any other Irish player since the current doubles-point format was adopted in 2000-01. This season, she has clinched the doubles point six times with junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) at No. 3. Second place on the all-time list is 2004 graduate Alicia Salas, who had 17 clinching wins in doubles. Juniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) – Sarah Jane’s sister – and Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) and both tied for third (along with 2003 grad Katie Cunha), with 15.
RANKINGS BUSTERS: Notre Dame players have had considerable success against nationally-ranked players and doubles teams this season, posting a 20-21 combined mark in singles, as well as a 15-5 record in doubles. Leading the way is sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), who is 10-8 in singles against ranked players, as well as 13-3, along with her twin sister, Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), in doubles. Freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) boasts a 7-6 record in singles vs. the nationally-ranked, as well as a 2-2 mark in doubles, pairing with junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.). Junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) is 2-1 in singles against ranked opponents, while Christian Thompson has a victory in four matches.
IRISH ONE OF 10 TEAMS WITH TWO RANKED DOUBLES TEAMS: Notre Dame currently has two doubles teams in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings, as sophomore twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) are fifth, while the team of junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Bishop McGuinness) are 59th. The Irish are one of just 10 teams to have two completely different doubles teams (four individuals) in the rankings, joining #1 Stanford, #2 Northwestern, #3 Kentucky, #4 Vanderbilt, #7 Georgia, #8 Florida, #13 North Carolina, #16 Tulane, and #29 Arizona State.
TRENDS: See below some Irish trends in this dual-match season:
– Notre Dame has won the doubles point 16 times in 21 matches this season and has gone on to win the match on 11 occasions after taking a 1-0 lead.
– The Irish have a 1-4 record when losing the doubles point. Notre Dame went down 1-0 on April 13 at Illinois, but rallied to win 4-3. That snapped a 15-match losing streak, dating back more than two years, for the Irish in matches in which they dropped the doubles point.
– Notre Dame has played eight 4-3 matches this season. The Irish had lost eight consecutive 4-3 matches, dating back to last season, before a five-day stretch earlier this month, when ND beat #16 William & Mary, Indiana, and Illinois by 4-3 scores in consecutive matches.
– Nine of the 21 Irish matches this season have been undecided with only three-set affairs left on the court. Notre Dame holds a 5-4 mark in those matches.
– Notre Dame’s winningest position in singles is No. 1, where Catrina Thompson has posted a 14-7 record.
– The most consistently successful spot overall for the Irish has been No. 1 doubles, where they have a 17-4 record. Sophomore Catrina Thompson has been involved in all of those matches, going 15-4 with her twin sister, Christian Thompson, as well as 2-0 with junior Kristina Stastny.
– No. 3 singles has been the position most indicative of Irish fortunes this season, as Notre Dame is 11-0 when winning there and 1-9 when dropping that match. The lone exception came on April 13 at Illinois, when Irish won 4-3 despite losing at No. 3.
– ND is 9-1 this season when winning at No. 4, with the lone defeat coming on Jan. 23 in a 6-1 loss to #6 Vanderbilt. The Irish point in that contest came from junior Lauren Connelly beating Annie Menees 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 1-0 (10-6) at No. 4.
– ND is 1-7 this season when losing at No. 5 singles, with the lone victory coming on March 22 against Purdue (5-2), even though the Boilermakers won at No. 5.
THOMPSONS ASCEND TO NATIONAL #1 RANKING IN DOUBLES: Sophomore twins Catrina Thompson and Christian Thompson became the first University of Notre Dame women’s tennis duo to be ranked #1 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national doubles rankings, when the Feb. 22 edition was released. Following a rookie season in which they went 22-17 and became the first all-freshman doubles team from any school since 1998 to earn a spot in the NCAA Doubles Championship, the Thompsons were #7 in the preseason ITA rankings, released last fall. They proceeded to put together a fall season in which they went 8-2, became the first Notre Dame team ever to reach the title match of a collegiate grand-slam event, and stand as the only duo in all of college tennis to reach the semifinals of both of the first two grand slams. That moved them up to #2 on Jan. 11 and then to the top spot. Since then, the Thompsons slipped to second (March 8) and then to fourth (April 5) and fifth (April 19). Prior to the 2004-05 season, the highest national ranking for an Irish doubles team was #5, by current assistant coach Michelle Dasso and Becky Varnum on two occasions during the 2000-01 campaign.
IRISH REACH PERFECTION vs. MICHIGAN: Notre Dame did not lose a set, winning three in doubles and all 12 in singles, in its 7-0 victory against #20 Michigan on Jan. 26. The victory was notable in a number of ways, as it was the first-ever 7-0 (or 9-0 under the previous scoring format) win against a top-25 opponent for Notre Dame. Previously, the highest-ranked team to get shut out by the Irish in a match where all the contests concluded was #35 Wisconsin, which fell 7-0 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion on March 1, 2002. The win also was the first shutout — of any type — against a top-25 team since a 5-0 victory against #8 Wake Forest at home on Feb. 10, 2001. The Wolverines also have the distinction of being the highest-ranked team ever to not win a set against the Irish, displacing #42 William & Mary, which lost 7-0 to the seventh-ranked Irish on April 1, 2001, at Notre Dame.
THOMPSONS ONLY DOUBLES TEAM TO REACH SEMIS OF FIRST TWO GRAND SLAMS: Sophomore twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) were the only Division I team to reach the semifinals of both of the first two legs of the collegiate grand slam. The Irish team, now ranked #2 after being seventh in the preseason, was the runner-up in October’s Riviera/ITA All-American Championships, defeating #6 Bentley/Stephenson of Alabama, #1 Hollands/Mlakar of Arizona, and #11 Gersic/Kovacek of New Mexico before falling to Whitney Benik and Lolita Frangulyan of Florida in the title match. The sisters then beat #3 Foster/Kalsarieva of Kentucky and #28 Banada/Bradley of Miami before losing to 13th-ranked Alice Barnes and Erin Burdette of Stanford in the semifinals of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. Benik and Fangulyan were upset in the opening round dof the National Indoors by eventual champ and current national #1 Cristelle Grier and Audra Cohen of Northwestern. The Wildcat team did not play doubles in the All-American Championships. The Thompsons became the first Irish team ever to reach a grand-slam final, as well as the first Notre Dame players to advance to the doubles semis of multiple grand slams.
THOMPSONS UPSET #1, #3, AND #6 IN FALL SEASON: Sophomore twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), now ranked #2 after being seventh in the preseason, put together a fall filled with giant killing, as they were 6-1 against nationally-ranked teams, including four wins against top-15 squads. The sisters upset #1 Dianne Hollands/Maja Mlakar of Arizona, #6 Ashley Bentley/Robin Stephenson, and #11 Eva Gersic/Maja Kovacek of New Mexico en route to the title match of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships before upsetting #3 Sarah Foster/Aibika Kalsarieva of Kentucky in the round of 16 of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships. The upset of Hollands and Mlakar, which came in an 8-6 decision on Oct. 8 in the quarterfinals of the first grand slam, was the first for an Irish team against the nation’s #1 doubles team since current assistant coach Michelle Dasso and Becky Varnum downed Pepperdine’s Ipek Senoglu and Paola Palencia 8-5 at No. 1 doubles on Feb. 17, 2001, in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Catrina Thompson FIRST SOPHOMORE SINCE 1999 TO PLAY No. 1 FOR ND: Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) has played No. 1 singles for the Irish in every dual match this spring, going 14-7. She is the first sophomore to play at the top of the Notre Dame singles lineup since current assistant coach Michelle Dasso went 23-4 in the slot in the spring of 1999.
REGIONAL RANKINGS: Notre Dame was well represented in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Midwest Region rankings, released on Nov. 30. The Irish joined #5 Northwestern as the only teams to have four players in the top 25 in singles, as well as the only schools with two in the top eight in doubles. Leading the way for Notre Dame were sophomore twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), who were #2 in doubles after a fall that saw them knock off six ranked teams (including three top-10 squads) and be the only duo in the country to reach the semifinals of both of the first two legs of the collegiate grand slam. Catrina Thompson also is sixth in singles after going 6-1 (two ranked wins) in the first semester with her lone defeat coming against #42 Katie McGaffigan of Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the ITA Midwest Championships. Freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) was 11th in singles after going 10-3 in her first collegiate semester, including upsets of #37 Dora Vastag of Indiana and #93 Hala Sufi of Purdue. She is eighth in doubles with junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), as that pair was 11-3 in the fall. Christian Thompson checked in at 21st despite going just 3-2 in the opening semester, while Connelly’s 10-2 mark earned her a listing of 23rd in singles.
IRISH A PERENNIAL TOP-30 TEAM: Not only has Notre Dame finished in the top 30 of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings in each of the last 12 seasons, but the Irish also have been a near-constant presence. Since the preseason rankings of the 1992-93 season, Notre Dame has been among the top 30 teams in the country in 199 of 201 sets of rankings. The first exception came in late March of 2003, when the transition to the computer rankings moved the Irish from 15th to 27th to 48th and then back to 27th (despite going 6-2 during that time). The second slip out of the top 30 came on April 5 of this season, when ND fell three spots to 31st before moving back to up 26th the following week.
CAPTAIN CONNELLY: Notre Dame’s lone senior, Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), is the captain of the Irish for the 2004-05 season, returning the program to its long-standing tradition (16 consecutive years from 1987-88 to 2002-03) of being led by one captain. Last season, both Alicia Salas and Caylan Leslie served as the squad’s co-captains.
WE ARE FAMILY: Notre Dame women’s tennis has long featured members of the same family on its teams. For the third consecutive season, Notre Dame has an unprecedented two pairs of sisters on its roster in 2003-04. In 2002-03, Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.) and Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) joined the Notre Dame squad as freshmen, combining with sisters Maggie Donohue (`03) and Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) to mark the first time in school history that a team featured two sets of sisters at the same time. Though Maggie Donohue graduated in ’03, the Connellys were joined last season by freshman twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) — the fourth pair of twin sisters ever to earn monograms in the same sport at Notre Dame — to give Notre Dame two sets of sisters once again. A total of seven sets of sisters have earned monograms in women’s tennis, by far the most of any of the 13 Irish women’s sports. Another family connection was added this season, as head coach Jay Louderback’s daughter, Bailey Louderback (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.), joined the team as a freshman. He became the 11th Notre Dame coach — just the second in a women’s sport (along with softball’s Brian Boulac) — to have coached his son or daughter with the Irish.
IRISH SIGN TWO TOP-30 PLAYERS FOR NEXT YEAR: Irish women’s tennis head coach Jay Louderback announced last fall that Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) and Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) have signed national letters of intent to enroll at Notre Dame and join his team in the fall of 2005. Both are among the top 30 high school seniors in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) 18-and-under national rankings. Potts, a 5-10 senior at Divine Savior Holy Angels High School in Milwaukee, won her second consecutive Wisconsin state singles title this fall, while also helping DSHA to the team state championship in ’04. The state singles runner-up in both 2001 and ’02, she has been ranked as high as 56th in the nation in the USTA’s 18-and-under rankings. At 60th, she was 26th among current high school seniors. Tefft, a 5-6 senior at Chisholm High School in northern Oklahoma, has to her credit seven Super National USTA doubles titles, including five partnering with current Irish freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School). Tefft has been as high as eighth in the USTA 18s singles rankings, and she also has one third-place finish in Super National singles competition. The Enid native, ranked 18th, was the sixth-highest ranked high school senior in the country.
KEEPING UP WITH NOTRE DAME TENNIS: For the fastest results of Notre Dame tennis matches, call the Notre Dame sports hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #8. The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the game recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website at www.und.com. The hotline is the first medium updated with the results of each Notre Dame tennis match. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Bo Rottenborn at Rottenborn.email@example.com, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.