March 1, 2007
Riding a five-match winning streak, the No. 2 Notre Dame women’s tennis team hosts No. 23 Texas A&M on Friday (3:00 p.m.) and No. 19 Texas on Saturday (1:00 p.m.) inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion.
The Irish (10-1) enter this weekend’s matches with a 25-match home dual winning streak. The current streak dates back to Feb. 26, 2005. It is tied with the previous mark that stretched from Sept. 24, 1979 through Sept. 25, 1982.
Notre Dame will look to break the record against Texas A&M. The Aggies, off to their best start in program history, aim to tie their own school record for consecutive wins. Texas A&M stands 10-1 on the season and rides an eight-match winning streak after blanking No. 66 Nebraska last weekend.
The Aggies, which broke into the top 25 for the first time since 2005, enter the match ranked No. 23 in this week’s FILA/ITA rankings. The No. 23 ranking is the program’s highest since a No. 19 ranking on Feb. 8, 2005.
Texas A&M’s Elze Potgieter and Anna Lubinsky are both nationally ranked in singles, coming in at No. 36 and No. 65, respectively. Potgieter, a freshman who plays at No. 2, leads the team with an overall record of 19-6. Senior Sarah Foster is second on the team with a 16-3 overall mark. Foster, who leads the team with a 10-1 mark in dual matches, is riding a team-best eight-match winning streak.
Lubinsky, who plays No. 1 singles and is one win shy of reaching the 100-career victory milestone, is ranked No. 34 in doubles with partner Nicki Mechem. The pair is 8-1 in dual matches and riding a team-best eight-match winning streak.
IRISH-AGGIES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Texas A&M will meet for just the second time since 1993 and the fifth time overall, with the Irish holding a 3-1 edge in the series … the Irish held off the Aggies, 4-3, last season in College Station … Katie Potts saved three match points and rallied for a three-set victory in the final match remaining to give Notre Dame the victory … the victory also happened to be head coach Jay Louderback’s 500th career win … the schools first met in 1990 in College Station, with the 19th-ranked Aggies winning 7-1 … in 1992, Notre Dame got a 5-2 victory on the road, and the 23rd-ranked Irish prevailed 9-0 at home a year later … Notre Dame has a 29-15 (.659) all-time record against the current members of the Big 12 Conference, including 27-11 (.711) under head coach Jay Louderback. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Ironically enough, the last team to defeat Notre Dame on its home soil was Texas. The Longhorns enter the weekend with a 5-2 mark. Texas opened the season on Jan. 26 with a 7-0 victory at Iowa State. The Longhorns completed its successful road trip the next day with a 6-1 victory at Kansas. UT fought off challenges from Ole Miss and Arizona State in its first home matches of the season, defeating the Rebels by a 6-1 count and the Sun Devils by a 4-3 margin.
Texas suffered a pair of road losses at the hands of No. 9 Miami (Fla.) and No. 3 Florida. Texas resumed Big 12 Conference play on Saturday, Feb. 24 and defeated Nebraska by a 7-0 margin.
Freshman Vanja Corovic made her first appearance in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) singles rankings last week at No. 87. Junior Courtney Zauft joined Corovic in the singles rankings at No. 100. Corovic is 12-6 overall and a perfect 7-0 in dual action — most of it coming at No. 3 singles (6-0). Zauft has a 13-7 overall record and 5-2 mark in dual matches — all at No. 2. Petra Dizdar, three-time All-Big 12 Conference selection, has struggled to this point of the season. She is just 6-12 overall and 2-5 in dual action, including 1-5 at No. 1.
The Longhorns No. 3 doubles team of Marija Milic of Corovic remain perfect in dual matches (6-0). Ristine Olson and Dizdar, No. 2, are 5-2 overall and 5-2 in dual matches, while Zauft and Sarah Lancaster are just 5-11 overall and 1-6 in dual matches, including 0-6 at No. 1.
IRISH-LONGHORNS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Texas will meet for the sixth consecutive season and 12th time overall, with the Longhorns holding an 8-3 edge in the series, including wins in five of the last seven meetings … the Irish routed Texas, 7-0, last year in Austin … the previous Notre Dame victory in the series came by a 6-1 score in 2003 at home … only three schools (Duke +12, Northwestern +11, Tennessee +7) hold larger advantages in their all-time series with Notre Dame … Notre Dame is 1-2 all-time in South Bend against Texas, with its lone win coming in a 6-1 decision in 2003 … the schools first played in 1990, with the ninth-ranked Longhorns winning 9-0 in Austin … ND and UT played three years in a row then and for three straight years later in the `90s before the current incarnation of the series … this will be just the third time in the series that Notre Dame is the higher-ranked team … Notre Dame has a 29-15 (.659) all-time record against the current members of the Big 12 Conference, including 27-11 (.711) under head coach Jay Louderback.