Notre Dame and junior Kristina Stastny will begin the 2005 dual-match slate this weekend.

Notre Dame Set For Eck Classic, Lone Home Fall Tournament, This Weekend

Oct. 14, 2004

Eck Classic

Eck Tennis Pavilion • Notre Dame, IN

Thursday, October 14

7:30 p.m. Notre Dame vs Michigan State — 3 doubles

Friday, October 15

9 a.m. Ohio State vs Kansas — 6 singles

10:30 a.m. Ohio State vs Kansas — 3 doubles

11:30 a.m. Michigan State vs Virginia — 4 doubles

12:30 p.m. Michigan State vs Ohio State – 4 doubles, 1 singles

2 p.m. Virginia vs Notre Dame — 6 singles

3:30 p.m. Virginia vs Notre Dame — 1 singles, 3 doubles

3:30 p.m. Michigan State vs Virginia — 2 singles

5 p.m. Michigan State vs Kansas — 6 singles

Saturday, October 16

9 a.m. Michigan State vs Virginia — 6 singles

10:30 a.m. Michigan State vs Virginia — 2 singles

11 a.m. Michigan State vs Kansas — 3 doubles

12 p.m. Ohio State vs Notre Dame — 6 singles

1:30 p.m. Ohio State vs Notre Dame — 1 singles, 3 doubles

3 p.m. Kansas vs Virginia — 6 singles

4:30 p.m. Kansas vs Virginia — 3 doubles

5 p.m. Ohio State vs Michigan State — 9 singles

Sunday, October 17

9 a.m. Kansas vs Notre Dame — 6 singles

10:30 a.m. Virginia vs Ohio State — 6 singles

12 p.m. Virginia vs Ohio State — 2 singles, 3 doubles

1:30 p.m. Michigan State vs Notre Dame — 1 singles

2 p.m. Notre Dame vs Kansas — 3 doubles

3 p.m. Notre Dame vs Michigan State — 5 singles

NOTRE DAME WOMEN’S TENNIS SET FOR ECK CLASSIC, LONE HOME FALL TOURNAMENT, THIS WEEKEND: The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team will play host to its lone home tournament of the fall season, the 16th annual Eck Classic, this weekend in the Eck Tennis Pavilion. Action will begin in the five-team event on Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. (EST) before kicking into high gear from Friday through Sunday.

THE TOURNAMENT: The Eck Classic will be a tournament featuring “hidden dual” matches between players from five schools: Kansas, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Virginia. Teams will play simulated dual matches, but no team scores are recorded. See above for the full schedule. The schools features one singles players and two doubles teams listed in the preseason Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) national rankings. Notre Dame sophomore Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) is ranked 103rd in singles, while she and her twin sister, Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), are seventh in doubles, though neither sister is expected to see action this weekend due to limitations in playing dates brought about by their participation in last week’s ITA All-American Championships. University of Virginia juniors Laurn Bruch and Douglas Wink are 50th in doubles.

HISTORY OF THE ECK CLASSIC: The 2004 Eck Classic marks the 23rd time in Notre Dame women’s tennis history that the Irish have played host to a tournament, in a number of different formats. From 1977-1980, the Irish served as co-host for the Notre Dame-Saint Mary’s Invitational each fall. In the falls of 1981, ’84, and ’87, Notre Dame hosted the Irish Invitational. The Eck Doubles Classic was held in the winter from 1988-91. The Eck Classic was then changed to a tournament featuring singles and doubles flights for 1992-2000 and 2002. This will be the second time that the Eck Classic features a “hidden-dual” format, which made its debut in 2001. Teams play simulated matches against each other, but there are no team scores recorded. All individual results are counted for ranking purposes. There was no tournament at Notre Dame in the fall of ’03.

THOMPSON TWINS FINISH AS RUNNERS-UP IN ITA ALL-AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIPS: Sophomore twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) nearly delivered Notre Dame’s first-ever collegiate grand slam championship, as knocked off a trio of top-15 teams in reaching the title match of the Riviera/Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Women’s All-American Championships last weekend. The Thompsons defeated #6 Ashley Bentley/Robin Stephenson of Alabama by a score of 8-4 in the first round of the 16-team main draw. The Irish pair then upset the #1 team in college tennis, Arizona’s Dianne Hollands and Maja Mlakar, by an 8-6 score in the quarterfinals before edging #11 Iva Gersic/Maja Kovacek of New Mexico in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (7-5). In the championship match, University of Florida freshmen Whitney Benik and Lolita Frangulyan prevailed 8-3 over the Thompsons. The sisters, ranked seventh nationally, became the first Irish doubles team – and second set of twins from any school – ever to reach the final in a collegiate grand slam.

THOMPSONS 7TH IN PRESEASON ITA NATIONAL DOUBLES RANKINGS: Sophomore twins Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) were ranked seventh in doubles when the preseason edition of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association national rankings were released last month. It matches the highest-ever preseason ranking for a Notre Dame doubles team, as current assistant coach Michelle Dasso and Becky Varnum were seventh to begin the 2000-01 campaign. The Thompsons finished last season at a career-high 26th after reaching the round of 16 in the NCAA Doubles Championship, in which they were the first all-freshman doubles team from any school to garner an invitation since 1998. The twins became the first all-rookie team to regularly play No. 1 doubles for the Irish in the Jay Louderback era, ending up with an overall record of 21-16, including 12-11 in dual matches at No. 1. The Thompsons are just the fourth Notre Dame doubles team to be ranked among the nation’s top seven. Dasso and Varnum peaked at fifth in 2000-01, while Dasso and Jennifer Hall were sixth during the 1998-99 campaign and Hall and Tiffany Gates were as high as seventh in 1996-97. Catrina Thompson, who peaked at 84th in singles last spring, was the lone Irish player represented in this season’s preseason singles rankings, as she came in at 103rd.

IRISH HEAD COACH: Jay Louderback, who signed a multi-year contract extension in the offseason, is in his 16th season at Notre Dame with a 267-136 (.663) record and his 26th year as a collegiate coach with a 471-314 (.600) mark. He ranks fifth among active NCAA Division I coaches in career victories. Louderback’s Irish have finished in the national top 30 in each of the last 12 seasons, have won 11 conference titles and registered 20 or more victories five times since 1996. Since the preseason of the 1992-93 season, Louderback’s teams have been ranked in the national top 30 in 186 of 187 sets of rankings. After taking over a program looking for its first NCAA tournament appearance, Louderback has helped Notre Dame to the NCAAs 11 times in the last 12 years, including five appearances in the round of 16 and a 1996 quarterfinal finish. Louderback, a four-time Midwest Region coach of the year, has been honored as his conference’s top coach on eight occasions, including five times in eight years in the BIG EAST. In his time at Notre Dame, Louderback’s players have earned All-America honors 13 times, won four national ITA awards, and earned 19 invitations to the NCAA singles championship and 11 to the NCAA doubles tournament. His players have dominated the University awards during Louderback’s tenure, leading all sports in both Byron V. Kanaley awards (six) and Francis Patrick O’Connor awards (five). His family was honored with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Tennis Family of the Year Award for 2002. The Arkansas City, Kan., native, and 1976 graduate of Wichita State arrived at Notre Dame prior to the 1989-90 season after coaching for seven years at his alma mater and three years (men and women) at Iowa State.

KEEPING UP WITH NOTRE DAME TENNIS: For the fastest results of Notre Dame tennis matches, call the Notre Dame sports hotline at (574) 631-3000 and choose #8. The hotline provides schedule and results information for varsity sports and serves as a supplement to the game recaps and weekly releases provided on the official athletic website at The hotline is the first medium updated with the results of each Notre Dame tennis match. In addition, media members and fans may be added to the sports information e-mail release list by contacting Bo Rottenborn (, who also can provide any information about the Irish tennis program.