Feb. 16, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 2 Notre Dame women’s tennis team rebounded from its poorest doubles performance in recent memory and captured five of six singles matches to rally past No. 7 North Carolina, 5-2, Friday night in college tennis action from inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. The Irish improved to 8-1 on the season, while the Tar Heels dropped to 9-3.
With the Irish holding a slim 3-2 lead, freshman Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) pulled out a remarkable come-from-behind victory at No. 5 singles over Sanaz Marand to clinch the victory for Notre Dame. Ciobanu, who trailed 4-1 in the opening set only to rebound for a 6-4 triumph, found herself down 5-2 in the second set. She proceeded to win the next four games and actually served for the match, but Marand broke back setting up a tie-breaker. Ciobanu would not be denied and cruised in the tie-breaker, 7-1. She upper her overall record to a team-best 19-4 and remained perfect in dual action at 9-0.
Sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) rallied to capture her match at No. 4 singles as well. Tefft dropped the opening set to Caitlin Collins, 6-4, but took the next two sets, 6-2, 6-3, to provide the final scoring margin (5-2). Tefft improved to 10-4 overall and 5-1 in dual matches.
North Carolina came out the aggressor and captured the all-important doubles point. The Irish dropped the doubles point for just the third time in their last 38 matches – a span dating back to the end of the 2005 season.
Trailing 1-0, Notre Dame needed a spark and that’s exactly what it got following junior Brook Buck’s (Yukon, OK) performance at No. 6. Buck, who has now won three consecutive matches, destroyed Meg Fanjoy in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. Buck improved to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in dual action. She has dropped just two games total over her last two matches – both 6-0, 6-1 victories.
After North Carolina moved ahead, 2-1, following Katrina Tsang’s 6-3, 6-2 straight-set triumph over senior Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) at No. 2, twin sister Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) and freshman Colleen Rielley each closed out their respective opponents in straight sets at No. 1 and No. 3 singles, respectively.
Catrina Thompson even the score at 2-2 with her 6-1, 7-5 victory over #33 Austin Smith. Thompson improved to 12-5 overall and 7-2 in dual action with her fourth straight win. The victory was her ninth over a ranked player this season. Thompson is now 9-4 in those matches.
Rielley, who moved down in the lineup from No. 2 to No. 3 singles, snapped a four-match losing streak with her 6-4, 6-2 win over Sara Anundsen. Rielley upper her record to 14-9 overall and 3-6 in dual play.
Notre Dame’s fifth-ranked tandem of Buck and Tefft dropped their first dual match of the season. Buck and Tefft, a perfect 7-0 entering the match, were just not themselves in an 8-2 loss to #24 Anundsen and Tsang at No. 2. The Irish duo dropped to 15-4 overall and 7-1 in dual action.
The Irish drew even in doubles following their victory at No. 3. Ciobanu and Krisik had little trouble with Smith and Sophie Grabinski, 8-3. The Notre Dame freshman tandem improved to 13-3 overall and 7-2 in dual action with their third straight win.
The Tar Heels No. 1 doubles team of Collins and Marand clinched the 1-0 lead with their impressive 8-4 triumph over the Thompson twins. Catrina and Christian now stand 13-5 overall and and 5-2 in dual action.
The Irish return to action this weekend inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion on Sun., Feb. 18 against No. 20 Wake Forest. First-serve against the Demon Deacons will get underway at noon.
#2 NOTRE DAME 5, #7 NORTH CAROLINA 2
1. #41 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. #33 Austin Smith (UNC); 6-1, 7-5
2. #19 Katrina Tsang (UNC) def. Christian Thompson (ND); 6-3, 6-2
3. #31 Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Sara Anundsen (UNC); 6-4, 6-2
4. Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Caitlin Collins (UNC); 4-6, 6-2, 6-3
*5. Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. #73 Sanaz Marand (UNC); 6-4, 7-6 (1)
6. Brook Buck (ND) def. Meg Fanjoy (UNC); 6-0, 6-1
*1. Collins/Marand (UNC) def. Thompson/Thompson (ND); 8-4
2. Anundsen/Tsang (UNC) def. Buck/Tefft (ND); 8-2
3. Ciobanu/Krisik (ND) def. Smith/Sophia Grabinski (UNC); 8-3
Order of Finish
* clinched point/match
— ND —