Sept. 25, 2003
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Taking the court for the first time this season, the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team had three doubles teams win matches Thursday on the opening day of the adidas Invitational at the Peachtree City Tennis Center. After an abbreviated day of doubles action, the Irish will have 10 competitors playing singles and doubles on Friday in the elite tournament featuring five top-25 teams from 2002-03.
Highlighting the opening day of the season was an 8-2 victory for freshman twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). The pair, ranked No. 1 in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) national 18-and-under doubles rankings, were impressive in their collegiate debut, downing the Wisconsin team of Nicole Beck and Kaylan Caiati.
On the opposite end of the age spectrum, a pair of seniors also rolled on Thursday. Caylan Leslie (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar H.S.) and Emily Neighbours (Indianapolis, Ind./Park Tudor School) turned in an 8-4 victory over Julia Hierl and Natalie Laszkowski of Louisville. Sophomores Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.) and Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School) made it a perfect day for Notre Dame with an 8-6 triumph over Louisville’s Christina Gogel and Kelly Taylor.
Leslie and Neighbours were teaming up for the first time since November of 2001 and just the second time in their careers, improving to 2-0. Donohue and Nelson are 7-3 as a team.
The other two Irish doubles teams entered in the event earned first-round byes: senior Alicia Salas (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek H.S.) and sophomore Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.), ranked 37th in the nation, and the team of junior Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and sophomore Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy), ranked 44th. On Friday, all 10 players will be in action in two rounds of singles and one round of doubles. Singles action begins at 8 a.m. (EDT).
adidas Invitational — Day One
Caylan Leslie/Emily Neighbours (ND) d. Julia Hierl/Natalie Laszkowski (Louisville) 8-4
Catrina Thompson/Christian Thompson (ND) d. Nicole Beck/Kaylan Caiati (Wisconsin) 8-2
Liz Donohue/Kelly Nelson (ND) d. Christina Gogol/Kelly Taylor (Louisville) 8-6