March 22, 2008
College Station, Texas- – Notre Dame battled their way to a 4-3 victory against the #27 ranked Texas A&M Aggies at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center. The win marks the first against a top 30 opponent since a 4-3 victory over then #19 Wake Forest back on February 22.
The Irish, as has been the case most of the season, got off to a quick start by capturing all three doubles matches and the doubles point. Brook Buck and Kelcy Tefft continued their dominance together defeating Tiffany Clifford and Christi Liles in easy fashion, 8-3. The win gives the Irish tandem a ten game winning streak dating back to February 14.
Kali Krisik and Kristen Rafael would clinch the doubles point with another easy decision. The duo defeated Anna Blagodarova and Michelle Sammons by the score of 8-3. No. 3 singles provided the biggest challenge, as the #50 ranked team of Cosmina Ciobanu and Colleen Rielley defeated Stephanie Davidson and Morgan Frank, 8-7 (7-3). The match was the team’s first since returning to the rankings, where they were previously #45 back on March 1.
With the doubles point already wrapped up, Tefft would continue her dominance on the singles court as well. At No. 1 singles #38 Tefft would cruise to an easy 6-3, 6-0 decision over #76 Elze Potgieter, to give the Irish a comfortable 2-0 lead in the match. The win moves Tefft’s dual record to 15-3, including 8-3 at the No. 1 spot.
The Aggies would not go away without a fight, however. At No. 6 singles, with the match tied 5-5, Sammons would get Texas A&M their first point when Rafael was forced to retire due to injury. The Irish would go on to take the next point with Rielley defeating Clifford, 6-1, 6-3, on No. 4 singles and giving the Irish a 3-1 lead in the match.
Texas A&M would go on to square the match at three, however, by winning the next two singles matches. At No. 5 singles, Frank defeated #114 Krisik in straight sets, 7-5, 6-2. On No. 3 singles #105 Ciobanu was unable to hold on to an early one set lead, eventually dropping the match to Liles 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
With the match square 3-3, the decision came down to the winner of the No. 2 singles match between Buck and Blagodarova. The match was hard fought by both players and would go to three sets. After dropping the first set, Buck would go on to take the second and third (2-6,6-2,6-3) to win the match and the dual victory for the Irish. The win gave Buck her fourth consecutive victory at No. 2 singles and the Irish team their fourth consecutive dual match victory. The win moves the Irish to 11-7 overall on the season.
The next match for the Irish will be on Monday, March 24 against SMU. First serve is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. from the SMU Tennis Center.