April 13, 2007
EVANSTON, Ill. – The No. 2 Notre Dame women’s tennis team dropped the doubles point and never recovered as No. 9 Northwestern upset the Irish, 5-2, Friday afternoon. Notre Dame drops to 21-2 on the season, while the Wildcats improve to 14-4.
Northwestern turned the tables on the Irish, taking the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 3. The Irish had captured the critical first point the last time the two teams met back in February. It proved to be the difference at the Irish took a 4-3 win at the ITA National Team Indoor Championships.
Kelcy Tefft (So./Enid, OK) and Kali Krisik (Fr./Arkansas City, KS) picked up the only doubles victory for the Irish. They ended Lauren Lui and Keri Robison’s eight-match winning streak, 8-6. The Irish took a break on the first game of the match and despite several deuce games, the ‘Cats could not take the break back and the match stayed on serve until the end.
13th-ranked Georgia Rose and Alexis Prousis knocked off the eighth-ranked pair of Christian Thompson (Sr./Las Vegas, NV) and Catrina Thompson (Sr./Las Vegas, NV). The Wildcats picked up an early break to go up 2-1 and cruised to an 8-1 win.
At No. 3, Samantha Murray and Alexis Conill took an 8-4 bout from Colleen Rielley (Fr./Overland Park, KS) and Katie Potts (So./Brookfield, WI). The ‘Cats seized an early break to pull ahead 2-0. They added a break from 4-3 and they took the match on an Irish serving game.
Northwestern kept rolling in singles, jumping out to early leads on several courts. At No. 1, Rose found herself in an early 3-1 hole, but broke the 26th-ranked Catrina Thompson to close to 3-2.
Rose held serve to tie the first set at 3-3 and she used a break of her own to pull ahead, 4-3. Rose dominated the rest of the match, not dropping another game in the first and only surrendering two games in the second set en route to a 6-3, 6-2 win.
At No. 2, Murray cruised to a straight-set win over Christian Thompson, 6-3, 6-1. The freshman dominated the second set, using a full array of passing shots. Murray dazzled the crowd with a spectacular off-balance cross-court backhand winner and later used a powerful swinging volley when up 5-1 in the second set.
Lui clinched the match for the ‘Cats at No. 4. Lui won in straight sets over Tefft, 6-4, 6-3. With the ‘Cats up 4-0, sophomore Nazlie Ghazal downed Krisik in straight sets at No. 6, 6-4, 6-2, to put the ‘Cats ahead 5-0.
The last two matches on the courts would go to 10-point “superbreakers” in place of a third set with the dual already clinched. Notre Dame got on the scoreboard with a win at No. 5. Robison took the first set from Potts, 6-3, but her opponent took the second frame, 6-4. Potts took a tight superbreaker, 10-7.
Prousis and Rielley played a thriller at No. 3 singles. Prousis surrendered a tiebreaker to lose the first set, 7-6, but fought back from down 5-3 to go up 6-5 on Rielley. However, the Notre Dame freshman held off her elder statesman.
Prousis dominated the second set, 6-3, forcing the 10-point tiebreaker. Prousis jumped out to an early lead, but Rielley came back to take the breaker, 11-9.
Notre Dame returns to action this weekend on Saturday and Sunday. The Irish travel to Milwaukee to play DePaul tomorrow and Marquette on Sunday.
— ND —