Senior Katie Potts advanced to the third round of the ITA National Summer Championships.

No. 4 Notre Dame Women's Tennis Upends No. 12 Vanderbilt, 4-3

Jan. 28, 2007

Match Highlights –

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The No. 4 Notre Dame women’s tennis team treated its loyal fans that weathered the blizzard-like conditions outside with a 4-3 victory over No. 12 Vanderbilt inside Eck Tennis Pavilion Sunday afternoon. The victory improved the Irish to 2-0 on the season and extended their home dual-match winning streak to 20 games.

“It was great for us to come out and not only open our home schedule with a victory, but to get a victory against such a quality opponent is tremendous,” said head coach Jay Louderback. “I know this match meant a lot to our returning players after last season’s meeting.”

Notre Dame, whose only regular season loss in 2006 came against Vanderbilt, won the doubles point and got straight-set wins at No. 1, No. 5 and No. 6 to earn the victory. The Commodores, which had won six straight over the Irish, got a straight-set triumph at No. 3 and a three-set victory at No. 2 to provide the final margin.

Sophomore Katie Potts (Brookfield, WI) clinched the victory for Notre Dame with a 7-5, 6-4 straight-set victory over Caroline Ferrell at No. 6 singles. Potts, who trailed 5-3 in the opening set, rallied to win the final four games. She took that momentum into the second set jumping out to a 4-1 lead and was able to hold off Ferrell in the end. Potts improved to 9-4 on the season and 2-0 in dual action. The clinching victory was the fifth of her career.

“Katy was phenomenal,” said Louderback. “But, Cosmina really showed something today. She stepped up, as a freshman, in a big match and played great. She really showed what she was made of today.”

While Potts closed the match, freshman Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) set the tone for the afternoon with her dominating, 6-1, 6-4 straight-set victory over Liberty Sveke at No. 5. Ciobanu, who gave Notre Dame a 2-0 lead in the match, improved to 12-4 on the season and 2-0 in dual action. All 12 of her victories have come in straight sets.

After senior Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) lost in straight-sets, 6-4, 6-1, to #24 Catherine Newman, twin sister #41 Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, NV) closed out #42 Amanda Taylor, 6-1, 6-4, giving the Irish a 3-1 lead. Catrina Thompson improved to 7-3 on the year and 2-0 in dual action. She upped her record to 4-3 on the season against ranked players.

Sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) dropped her match to Courtney Ulery at No. 4, 7-6 (6), 6-1. Tefft had leads of 5-3, 6-5 and served for the match, but was not able to close Ulery out as she rallied to take the first set in a tiebreaker before cruising in the second set. Tefft dropped to 6-4 on the year and 1-1 in dual play.

Freshman #31 Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, KS) dropped a three-set affair to #57 Taka Bertrand. After losing the opening set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (2), Rielley routed Bertrand in the second set, 6-2, but was not able to secure the victory after losing the third set 6-3. Rielley falls to 12-4 on the campaign and 1-1 in dual action.

The Irish grabbed a 1-0 lead after sweeping each of the three doubles matches. The freshman duo of Ciobanu and Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, KS) had little trouble with Vanderbilt’s Sveke and Ulery at No. 3. The tandem raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back in an 8-4 win. Krisik and Ciobanu?improved to 8-1 on the year and 2-0 in dual action.

The #11 Thompson twins followed with an 8-3 victory over Ferrell and Taylor at No. 1. They improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in dual action. While the point was already decided, the match at No. 2 doubles proved to be the best of the three. Fifth-ranked junior Brook Buck (Yukon, OK) and Tefft took a convincing 6-2 lead and appeared in cruise control against Bertrand and Newman, but the Vanderbilt duo rallied to tie the match at 7-7. The two teams went back-and-forth throughout the tiebreaker as each team had multiple match points, but Buck and Tefft were able to survive, 8-7 (11-9). Buck and Tefft improved to 10-3 and 2-0 in dual play.

Notre Dame returns to action next weekend at the ITA National Team Indoors in Madison, Wisc. The Irish open the tournament on Thursday, Feb. 1.

No. 1 – #41 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. #42 Amanda Taylor (VU) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 – #57 Taka Bertrand (VU) def. #31 Colleen Rielley (ND) – 7-6 (2), 2-6, 6-3
No. 3 – #24 Catherine Newman (VU) def. Christian Thompson (ND) – 6-4, 6-1
No. 4 – Courtney Ulery (VU) def. Kelcy Tefft (ND) – 7-6 (6), 6-1
No. 5 – Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Liberty Sveke (VU) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 6 – Katie Potts (ND) def. Carolina Ferrell (VU) – 7-5, 6-4

No. 1 – #11 Thompson/Thompson (ND) def. Ferrell/Taylor (VU) – 8-3
No. 2 – #5 Buck/Tefft (ND) def. Bertrand/Newman (VU) – 8-7 (11-9)
No. 3 – Ciobanu/Krisik (ND) def. Sveke/Ulery (VU) – 8-4

— ND —