Freshman Cosmina Ciobanu.

No. 3 Notre Dame Women's Tennis Dominates No. 71 Louisville, 6-1

Feb. 9, 2007

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 3 Notre Dame women’s tennis team proved too strong for an undermanned No. 71 Louisville squad on Friday as the Irish rolled to their 21st consecutive home dual-match victory, 6-1. Notre Dame improved to 6-1 overall, while the Cardinals drop to 2-5.

“When your opponent is short-handed as Louisville was, it can be more difficult cause your team might let down, but the girls did not fall into that situation today,” said head coach Jay Louderback. “We played to win the match as opposed to hoping Louisville would lose it. We were coming off such a great weekend and might have been a little tired, but persevered and got the job done.”

Louisville, who suited up just five healthy players, was forced to forfeit at both No. 3 doubles and No. 6 singles. Notre Dame was also short-handed as senior Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) and sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) were each given the day off to rest.

With the forfeit at No. 3 doubles, the Irish quickly captured the doubles point. Junior Brook Buck (Yukon, OK) and senior Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) had little trouble disposing Robyn White and Natalie Laszkowski at No. 1 doubles, 8-2. The match was the first for the duo together and Catrina Thompson was playing with someone other than her twin sister, Christian, for the first time since March 31 of last season.

The No. 2 Notre Dame doubles team of freshmen Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) and Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, KS) had a far more difficult time with Bianca Gorbea and Jo-Ann Van Aerde. Ciobanu and Krisik took a 5-3 lead after breaking the Cardinals, but the Louisville squad answered back with a break of their own tying the match, 5-5. Back on serve, Gorbea and Van Aerde pushed the advantage to 6-5, but the lead was short-lived as Krisik was able to hold serve before the Irish broke Louisville to regain a 7-6 lead. Ciobanu closed out the match with a service ace to give Notre Dame an 8-6 triumph. The tandem improved to 11-3 overall and 5-2 in dual action.

The Irish went ahead, 2-0, with the forfeit at No. 6 singles and Catrina Thompson pushed the advantage to 3-0 following her victory over White at No. 1 singles. Thompson cruised in the opening set, 6-0, and led, 4-1, in the second set when White was forced to retire. Thompson improved 10-5 overall and 5-2 in dual action. The victory gives her 83 for her career, which is tied for 19th all-time in Notre Dame singles history.

Ciobanu clinched the match for the Irish with her 6-0, 6-0 straight-set whitewash of Van Aerde. Ciobanu improved to 17-4 overall and a perfect 7-0 in dual play. She not only leads the Irish in victories, but Ciobanu also remains the only Notre Dame player undefeated in dual action. She extended her winning streak to six games and each of her 17 wins this season has come in straight sets. Ciobanu joined Christian Thompson as the only Notre Dame players to win in a double bagel.

Louisville did pick up a point at No. 2 singles. Freshman #31 Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, KS) took the opening set from Laskowski with relative ease, 6-2, but the Cardinals’ senior came back with a 6-4 victory in the second set and then took the match with a 1-0 (10-8) victory in the third set. Rielley, who has lost three straight matches, dropped to 13-8 overall and 2-5 in dual action.

Leading 4-1, sophomore Katie Potts (Brookfield, WI) made the Notre Dame lead, 5-1, with her 6-1, 6-4 straight-set victory over Natalia Baez at No. 5. Potts trailed in the second set, 4-3, but rallied with three consecutive points to secure the win. Potts improved to 10-6 overall and 3-2 in dual action.

Buck provided the final scoring with her 6-3, 6-4 straight set victory over Gorbea at No. 4. Buck, who moved into the singles rotation prior to the USTA/ITA Team Indoor Championship semifinals victory over Northwestern, evened her season record at 5-5 and improved in dual play to 2-1.

The Irish return to action on Wed., Feb. 14 against No. 21 Michigan. First-serve is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. inside the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Notre Dame not only leads the all-time series with the Wolverines, 16-8, but the Irish have captured 11 of the last 12 meetings overall and 10 consecutive at home. Michigan has not beaten Notre Dame in South Bend since 1984.

1. #41 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. Robyn White (UL); 6-0, 4-1, ret.
2. Natalie Laszkowski (UL) def. #31 Colleen Rielley (ND); 2-6, 6-4, 1-0 (10-8)
*3. Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Jo-Ann Van Aerde (UL); 6-0, 6-0
4. Brook Buck (ND) def. Bianca Gorbea (UL); 6-3, 6-4
5. Katie Potts (ND) def. Natalia Baez (UL); 6-1, 6-4
6. Default

*1. Buck/Ca. Thompson (ND) def. White/Laszkowski (UL); 8-2
2. Ciobanu/Krisik (ND) def. Gorbea/Van Aerde (UL); 8-6
3. Default

Order of Finish
Doubles (3,*1,2)
Singles (6,1,*3,2,5,4)
* clinched point/match

— ND —