April 12, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 2 Notre Dame women’s tennis team closes out the regular season this weekend with three road matches, beginning with a showdown on Friday at 3:00 p.m. (CDT) against archrival and No. 9 Northwestern. The Irish will then travel to BIG EAST Conference foes DePaul and Marquette on Saturday and Sunday. First-serve for the matches with the Blue Demons and Golden Eagles, both being played in Milwaukee, is scheduled for noon (CDT) and 10:00 a.m. (CDT). Notre Dame enters the match-ups riding a 16-match winning streak.
The Irish (21-1) are quite familiar with the Big Ten conference, especially the Wildcats. Notre Dame is a perfect 6-0 this season against teams from the league, including victories over Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Iowa, Indiana and Ohio State earlier this season. The Irish not only won all six of those matches, but also did so in convincing fashion (outscoring those six opponents by a score of 38-4.
Notre Dame took a close 4-3 match from the Wildcats back on Feb. 3 in the semifinals of the ITA Indoor Championships. The Irish captured the doubles point, but the Wildcats took wins at the top three singles spots, but Notre Dame captured No. 4 and No. 5 with the clincher coming at No. 6. Sophomore Katie Potts topped Nazlie Ghazal by taking two tiebreakers.
Friday’s match will feature several ranked singles players and doubles teams. Rose is ranked 11th in singles, Samantha Murray is No. 29 and Lauren Lui is No. 113. 26th-ranked Catrina Thompson and No. 48 Cosmina Ciobanu lead Notre Dame.
In doubles, NU’s 13th-ranked Rose and Prousis, coming off a win over the top-ranked team in the nation last Friday, will face Notre Dame’s eighth-ranked Catrina and Christian Thompson. Their match earlier this season was not completed.
IRISH-WILDCATS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Northwestern will meet for the 20th consecutive season and 31st time overall, with the Wildcats holding a 20-10 edge in the series … the Irish have won each of the last two meetings (both by the score of 4-3) … prior to last season, the Wildcats had captured the previous seven meetings, three of which were by identical 4-3 margins … no school has more all-time victories against Notre Dame (next are Duke and Tennessee at 12) and none hold a larger lead in the all-time series (Duke is tied at 11) … the schools have met three times in the NCAA tournament – including in the second round in both 2004 and `05 … no school has faced the Irish more times in the NCAAs (Stanford and Iowa also have three matches vs. ND) … the Irish are 3-13 all-time at Northwestern and enter tomorrow’s match with a three-match losing streak in Evanston … Notre Dame has not win at Northwestern since 1999 … the schools first played on Sept. 28, 1976, with the Wildcats prevailing 7-2 in Evanston, Ill., to hand Notre Dame its first defeat in its inaugural season as a varsity program (after beginning with three straight wins) … the Wildcats prevailed in the first 11 meetings between the schools (the second-longest losing streak for ND against one team in program history) before the Irish finally broke through for a 6-3 win at home in 1992 …that started a stretch in which Notre Dame won eight of 10 meetings … the squads have met six times during the careers of the teams’ current seniors (Northwestern leads 4-2 in those meetings) … this will be the 16th consecutive match in which both teams are ranked and second since 2001 that the Irish hold a higher ranking … this is tied for the highest-ranked ND team ever faced by Northwestern … the Wildcats lead 5-4 in matches decided by one point (4-3 or 5-4).
IRISH-BLUE DEMONS SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and DePaul will meet for just the third time since 1999 and the 10th time overall, and the Irish have won every match … five of the matches have seen the Irish post 9-0 victories … the schools first met in the fall of 1978, with the Irish winning 7-2 at home … the other non-shutout came in the fall of 1982, when ND won 7-2 at DePaul … since then, all six matches have been shutouts … there are only four schools (Boston College-11, Drake-9, Kansas State-8, Virginia Tech-8) that Notre Dame has played more times without having been defeated …the Irish have not played more all-time matches against any other current member of the BIG EAST Conference (Marquette also 9) … Notre Dame holds a 58-5 (.921) all-time record against conference foes, including 34-1 (.971) in regular-season action … the Irish hold a 36-2 (.947) all-time mark against the current members of the BIG EAST.
IRISH-GOLDEN EAGLES SERIES NOTES: Notre Dame and Marquette will meet for the third time in four years and the 10th time overall, with the Irish holding a 8-1 advantage in the all-time series … this will be the Notre Dame’s third visit to Milwaukee, where they are undefeated … the lone Marquette victory in the series came by a 5-4 score in 1989 in Milwaukee … the schools first met in the fall of the 1985-86 campaign, with the Irish winning 9-0 at home … after having not met since 1991, the series resumed in 2004 with a 7-0 victory at home for Notre Dame … the Irish have played more matches against Marquette than vs. any other current BIG EAST Conference school … Notre Dame holds a 58-5 (.921) all-time record against conference foes, including 34-1 (.971) in regular-season action … the Irish hold a 36-2 (.947) all-time mark against the current members of the BIG EAST.
Northwestern is 13-4 this season and 6-0 in Big Ten play with victories over Wisconsin (7-0), Michigan (5-2), Penn State (7-0), Illinois (7-0), Purdue (7-0) and Indiana (5-2). The Wildcats are ninth in the most recent ITA rankings.
Georgia Rose plays No. 1 singles for Northwestern and is 14-2 at the position so far this spring and 22-4 overall. She leads the Wildcats in dual-match victories. Overall, Samantha Murray (26-8) leads the team with 26 victories.
Claire Pollard, a graduate of Mississippi State, is in her ninth season at the helm of the Wildcats. She is 197-47 at Northwestern and has a career mark of 269-108 in 15 seasons as a collegiate head coach.
DePaul is 10-9 this season and 3-2 in BIG EAST play with victories over St. John’s (6-1), UConn (5-2) and Seton Hall (4-3). The Blue Demons are not ranked in the most recent ITA rankings.
Dunja Antunovic plays No. 1 singles for DePaul and is 14-1 at the position so far this spring and 23-4 overall. She leads the Blue Demons in both dual match victories and overall wins.
Mark Ardizzone, a 1983 graduate of Northwest Missouri State, is in his 11th season at the helm of DePaul. He is 174-86 in 11 years with the Blue Demons.
Marquette is 10-12 this season and 4-1 in BIG EAST play with victories over UConn (7-0), Syracuse (4-3), Seton Hall (5-2) and Rutgers (5-2). The Golden Knights are not ranked in the most recent ITA rankings.
Shannon Brown (12-3) has a team-best 12 singles wins in dual-match play. She has played most of the season in the No. 6 singles position. Lauren Little plays in the top singles spot for Marquette and has posted a 5-13 mark in dual matches.
Jody Bronson is in her 22nd season at the helm of the Golden Eagles. She is 284-241 at Marquette.
Last Time Out
The No. 2 Notre Dame women’s tennis team cruised past No. 48 Ohio State, 7-0, on Monday, April 9 inside the Jesse Owens West Tennis Center for its 16th consecutive victory. The Irish improved to 21-1 on the season, while the Buckeyes dropped to 14-7.
The Irish swept the doubles matches to earn the doubles point and captured all six singles matches, including five in straight sets. Colleen Rielley (Fr./Overland Park, KS) went to a match tiebreaker against Christina Keesey at the No. 3 position before winning, 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9). At the No. 1 position, #26 Catrina Thompson (Sr./Las Vegas, NV) upended Julie Blackmore, 7-5, 6-1. At No. 2, Christian Thompson (Sr./Las Vegas, NV) overpowered Ally Mueller, 6-2, 6-1. Kelcy Tefft (So./Enid, OK) blanked Sonia Ruzimovsky at the fourth spot, 6-0, 6-0, and #48 Cosmina Ciobanu (Fr./Brea, CA) blew past Caitlin O’Keefe, 6-1, 6-3, at the fifth position. At No. 6, Kali Krisik (Fr./Arkansas City, KS) defeated Julie Voss, 6-3, 6-0.
*1. #26 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. Julie Blackmore (OSU); 7-5, 6-1
2. Christian Thompson (ND) def. Ally Mueller (OSU); 6-2, 6-1
3. Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Christina Keesey (OSU); 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9)
4. Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Sonia Ruzimovsky (OSU); 6-0, 6-0
5. #48 Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Caitlin O’Keefe (OSU); 6-1, 6-3
6. Kali Krisik (ND) def. Julie Voss (OSU); 6-3, 6-0
Order of finish: 4,2,1,3,5,6
* clinching point
1. #8 Thompson/Thompson (ND) def. Blackmore/DiPastina (OSU); 8-2
*2. Krisik/Tefft (ND) def. Ruzimovsky/O’Keefe (OSU); 8-2
3. Ciobanu/Rielley (ND) def. Mueller/Keesey (OSU); 8-1
Order of finish: 3,2,1
* clinching point
Freshman Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) has won 22 straight singles matches … Junior Brook Buck (Yukon, OK) has won 10 straight singles matches … Freshman Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, KS) has won eight straight singles matches … Sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) has won seven straight singles matches … the doubles team of Christian & Catrina Thompson have won eight straight matches … Ciobanu and Krisik have each won 11 straight matches with different partners in doubles.