March 21, 2007
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 3 Notre Dame women’s tennis team will look to extend its winning streak to 11 matches on Thursday as the Irish travel to Wisconsin. First-serve with the Badgers is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. (CST).
Notre Dame enters the match-up with the Badgers following two more quality victories against top 25 opponents. The Irish knocked off No. 23 Duke, 4-3, and routed No. 19 Tennessee, 6-1, last week in San Diego. Notre Dame improved to a remarkable 11-1 this season against teams ranked in the top 25.
Despite this success, the Irish did drop one spot in this week’s ITA poll. Notre Dame slipped into a tie with defending NCAA Champion Stanford at No. 3. Georgia holds down the No. 1 spot, followed by Florida at No. 2. The top-10 is rounded out by: No. 5 California, No. 6 Georgia Tech, No. 7 Clemson, No. 8 USC, No. 9 Miami and No. 10 Northwestern.
A trio of Irish players are currently ranked among the top 120. Senior Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) is Notre Dame’s top-ranked competitor, checking in at #19. She has posted an 18-6 mark overall and 13-3 in dual matches. Thompson owns a four-match winning streak, including her most recent victory over #22 Blakeley Griffith of Tennessee. She has an impressive 11-5 record this season against ranked players.
Freshman sensation Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) is the next highest ranked Irish player. She is ranked #62, falling from #31, despite riding a 16-match winning streak. Ciobanu (26-4, 16-0) leads Notre Dame in overall victories and dual match wins. In fact, she remains the only Irish player undefeated in dual action.
Fellow freshman Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, KS) reappeared in the polls this week at #114. Rielley, who opened the dual match season at #31, dropped out of the rankings each of the past two polls. Rielley (20-10, 9-7) has rebounded from a poor start of the dual match season with victories in seven of her last eight matches.
A pair of Irish doubles teams are ranked as well. Senior twins, Catrina Thompson and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, NV), rose to #4 this week. The Thompsons are 19-6 overall and 11-3 in dual matches. Junior Brook Buck (Yukon, OK) and sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) are back in the top 20, sitting at #15. Buck and Tefft are 21-5 overall and 11-2 in dual action.
Following Thursday’s match with Wisconsin, Notre Dame will not return to action until Friday, March 30 at Wichita State.
— ND —