Nov. 6, 2005
URBANA, Ill. – The fall portion of the 2005-06 season for the University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team came to a close on Sunday, with Irish players combining for a 9-2 record in Midwest Blast VII in the University of Illinois’ Atkins Tennis Center. ND finished the event with a 27-7 record, and four players went unbeaten on the weekend. The Irish will begin the dual-match portion of their schedule on Jan. 28 in the Eck Tennis Pavilion, taking on Ohio State at 11 a.m. (EST) and Xavier at 4 p.m.
Notre Dame went 6-1 on Sunday in singles matches against Wisconsin and won three of four doubles matches against. Senior Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School), sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School), and freshmen Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) and Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) all finished unbeaten in six matches in the Midwest Blast.
Tefft dropped just two games on Sunday, first defeating Kaylan Caiati of Wisconsin 6-1, 6-0 and then pairing with Buck to down Illinois’ Momei Qu and Emily Wang 8-1. Buck and Tefft were ranked 60th in the preseason national doubles rankings and finished the fall with a 10-2 mark. Buck, ranked 54th in singles, beat Wisconsin’s Nicole Beck 6-3, 6-1 on Sunday.
Nelson and Potts beat Shivani Dave and Alejandra Meza Cuadra of Illinois 8-4 in doubles. The senior beat Erin Jobe from Wisconsin 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 while Potts defeated another Badger, Elizabeth Carpenter, 6-1, 6-3. Nelson was 11-2 in fall singles action following a 22-month layoff due to injury.
Senior captain Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) won 6-4, 6-0 against Ali Salomone of Wisconsin on Sunday, and fellow senior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) downed Chelsea Nusslock 6-2, 6-1.
Senior Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.) and sophomore Bailey Louderback (South Bend, Ind./Penn H.S.) were winners in doubles, beating Jobe and Lexi Goldin of Wisconsin 8-3.
Notre Dame took part in seven events during the fall portion of the 2005-06 campaign, turning in several outstanding performances. Three Irish seniors – Connelly, Nelson, and Stastny – began the season by traveling to the Maryland Invitational. Connelly and Stastny won the A flight consolation title in doubles, while Stastny (A flight) and Nelson (B flight) did the same in singles. The first full-team event of the fall was the Hoosier Classic, where Tefft had an outstanding collegiate debut, pairing with Buck to upset a top-20 team en route to winning the doubles title and also claiming the C flight championship in singles. Nelson won the D flight in singles.
Junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) provided the highlight of the fall on the first weekend of October, becoming the first Notre Dame players ever to win a title in a collegiate grand slam. The duo beat three top-10 teams to reach the final and then saved two match points and finally prevailed in a tiebreaker in the title match of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The Thompsons became the first team from any school ever to reach the final of the All-Americans in consecutive seasons and come away with a championship.
The Irish then battled rival USC (which finished last year ranked seventh) in a marathon exhibition dual match, eventually losing a tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles and one in the third set at No. 2 singles to fall 4-3. The Thompsons – having already earned a spot in the season’s second grand slam – did not play doubles in the Wilson/ITA Midwest Championships. Catrina Thompson advanced to the semifinals in singles, while Notre Dame’s Nos. 2 and 3 teams – Buck/Tefft and Connelly/Stastny – made the Irish the only squad with multiple duos in the semifinals in the annual indoor tournament of the top players in the Midwest Region.
The Thompsons failed in their bid to become the first team from any school to win the doubles titles in both of the season’s first two grand slams, as they were upset in the quarterfinals of the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships by eventual champions Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey from Stanford. Catrina also took part in the singles draw, but lost in the opening round. The rest of the Irish finished the fall at Midwest Blast VII, combining for a 27-7 record.
Midwest Blast VII (November 6)SinglesKelcy Tefft (ND) def. Kaylan Caiati (Wisconsin) 6-1, 6-0#54 Brook Buck (ND) def. Nicole Beck (Wisconsin) 6-3, 6-1Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Chelsea Nusslock (Wisconsin) 6-2, 6-1Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Ali Salomone (Wisconsin) 6-4, 6-0Katie Potts (ND) def. Elizabeth Carpenter (Wisconsin) 6-1, 6-3Kelly Nelson (ND) def. Erin Jobe (Wisconsin) 7-6 (8-6), 6-3Lexi Goldin (Wisconsin) def. Bailey Louderback (ND) 6-2, 6-2DoublesMacall Harkins/Brianna Knue (Illinois) def. Lauren Connelly/Kristina Stastny (ND) 8-6Kelly Nelson/Katie Potts (ND) def. Shivani Dave/Alejandra Meza Cuadra (Illinois) 8-4#60 Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Momei Qu/Emily Wang (Illinois) 8-1Liz Donohue/Bailey Louderback (ND) def. Lexi Goldin/Erin Jobe (Wisconsin) 8-3