Feb. 4, 2007

Madison, Wisc. – The No. 4 Notre Dame women’s tennis team lost to No. 6 Georgia Tech, 4-2, in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship final on Sunday afternoon. The Irish were making their first appearance in the finals in school history.

The USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship is the collegiate tennis’ premier indoor team tournament and is the second of three ITA national collegiate championships of the season. (The other two are the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships in November and the NCAA Championships in May).

Notre Dame was on track to grab the doubles point after the fifth-ranked tandem of sophomore Kelcy Tefft (Enid, OK) and junior Brook Buck (Yukon, OK) earned an 8-6 win at No. 2, but the Jackets’ tandem of Amanda Craddock and Kirsten Flower posted an 8-6 victory in the No. 3 slot to set up the top line for the doubles point. Tech’s unranked duo of Whitney McCray and Miller came through for the second-straight day, posting a 9-7 victory over the Irish’s 11th-ranked team of Christian Thompson (Las VEgas, NV) and Catrina Thompson (Las VEgas, NV) to give Georgia Tech the 1-0 lead heading into singles play.

#25 Flower won her fourth-straight match in the tournament, with all four wins coming in straight sets, to give the Yellow Jackets a 2-0 lead over the Irish. The rookie upended #31 freshman Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, KS) at the No. 2 singles position, 6-2, 6-1, before sophomore Christy Striplin gave Tech a 3-0 match lead with a straight-set win over Christian Thompson at the No. 3 singles spot.

Striplin, ranked 95th in the nation in singles, won her first set, 6-1 before falling behind 0-3 in the second frame. The Birmingham, Ala. native then won six straight games to take the second set and the match, 6-1, 6-3.

Despite trailing 3-0 in the match, the Irish didn’t give in. #41 Catrina Thompson fought off a second-set comeback by #15 Kristi Miller to take a 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 victory while freshman Cosmina Ciobanu (Brea, CA) fought for a 7-5, 6-3 win at No. 5 singles to pull the Irish to within one point at 3-2.

After both Tefft and Buck captured their first sets in singles, #82 Alison Silverio and #64 Amanda Craddock fought back to force decisive third sets at the No. 4 and 6 singles positions, respectively, with Georgia Tech needing just one of the two to win in order for the Yellow Jackets to claim the indoor title.

Both players broke Tefft and Buck early in the third sets, but Craddock won the decisive point, defeating Brook Buck, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2, at the No. 6 slot to give the Jackets the victory.

Silverio had fought back from a 5-7 loss in the first set to win the second, 6-2, and was leading 5-1 in the third frame at the time the match was decided.

The Irish drop to 5-1 on the season, while Georgia Tech improves to 4-0. Notre Dame returns to action Feb. 9 against Louisville. First-serve is scheduled for the Eck Tennis Pavilion at 2 p.m.

#6 Georgia Tech 4, #4 Notre Dame 2
1. #41 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. #15 Kristi Miller (GT) 6-3, 2-6, 6-1
2. #25 Kirsten Flower (GT) def. #31 Colleen Rielley (ND) 6-2, 6-1
3. #95 Christy Striplin (GT) def. Christian Thompson (ND) 6-1, 6-3
4. #82 Alison Silverio (GT) vs. Kelcy Tefft (ND) 5-7, 6-2, 5-1, unfinished
5. Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Tarryn Rudman (GT) 7-5, 6-3
6. #64 Amanda Craddock (GT) def. Brook Buck (ND) 2-6, 7-5, 6-2

1. Whitney McCray/ Miller (GT) def. #11 Thompson/ Thompson (ND) 9-7
2. #5 Buck/ Tefft (ND) def. Rudman/ Silverio (GT) 8-6
3. Craddock/ Flower (GT) def. Ciobanu/Kali Krisik (ND) 8-6

Match Notes:
Georgia Tech 4-0; National ranking #6
Notre Dame 5-1; National ranking #4
Order of finish: Doubles (2,3,1); Singles (2,3,1,5,6)

— ND —