March 26, 2005
EDMOND, Okla. – The 29th-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (8-7) lost just one set in singles en route to a 7-0 victory over Oklahoma State (4-8) Saturday afternoon in the Oak Tree Tennis Center. The Irish won the doubles point and dropped a total of just 21 total games in singles, including four or fewer in five of the matches.
Notre Dame won the doubles point for the 12th time in 15 matches this season, winning at the bottom two positions. Done first were junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and freshman Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School), who beat Sandra Blaier and Jessica Collins 8-2 at No. 2. The Notre Dame team moved to 21-8 on the season, including 10-5 in dual action.
Senior co-captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) provided the clinching victory with an 8-3 triumph at No. 3 against Jennifer Poskitt and Lauren Simmons. Connelly and Stastny, who did not play together in the last two Irish contests, moved to 19-7 on the season, including 9-4 in dual-match play at No. 3. They have won six of their last eight matches together.
Sophomore Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), who had been sidelined in each of Notre Dame’s last two matches due to a nagging knee injury and was out of the singles lineup for the fourth consecutive contest, made her return in doubles, pairing with her twin sister, Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.). The duo, the #2-ranked team in college tennis, struggled in their first match together in two weeks, eventually losing 8-4 to Zana Masnic and Iryna Tkachenko at No. 1. It was just the fourth defeat this season for the sisters and just the second this spring.
First off the court in singles was Oklahoma native Sarah Jane Connelly, who beat the New Zealander, Poskitt, 6-0, 6-2 at No. 5. Connelly is 11-5 in singles this season.
Next done was Buck, ranked 100th in the nation, who downed Masnic 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2. She has won six of her last seven contests and stands 21-7 on the season, including 11-4 in dual play at No. 2.
Stastny clinched the victory by beating Collins 6-1, 6-1 at No. 4 to improve to 18-9 on the season.
Junior Liz Donohue (Sioux Falls, S.D./O’Gorman H.S.) finished next, beating Blaier of Australia 6-2, 6-1 at No. 6. It snapped a three-match losing streak for Donohue.
Catrina Thompson, ranked 44th, then won a match tiebreaker to prevail 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (10-3) over 97th-ranked Tkachenko of Ukraine at No. 1. It was the seventh win over a ranked player this season for the Irish sophomore, who is now 16-6 on the season and 10-5 in dual matches at No. 1.
The last match saw Lauren Connelly top Simmons 6-2, 6-2 at No. 3. The Oklahoma City native is now 2-0 in her career at No. 3, as well as 19-8 on the season in singles.
The match served as a homecoming for three Oklahoma natives on Notre Dame’s roster: the Connelly sisters and Buck. The Irish have now won both of the all-time meetings between the teams, having prevailed 5-2 in the USTA/ITA National Team Indoor Championship in 2001.
Notre Dame will return to action on Tuesday, when it travels to #45 Wisconsin for a 3 p.m. (CST) contest.
#29 Notre Dame 7, Oklahoma State 0
No. 1: #44 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. #97 Iryna Tkachenko (OSU) 6-2, 2-6, 1-0 (10-3)
No. 2: #100 Brook Buck (ND) def. Zana Masnic (OSU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 3: Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Lauren Simmons (OSU) 6-2, 6-2
No. 4: Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Jessica Collins (OSU) 6-1, 6-1
No. 5: Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) def. Jennifer Poskitt (OSU) 6-0, 6-2
No. 6: Liz Donohue (ND) def. Sandra Blaier (OSU) 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 5, 2, 4*, 6, 1, 3
No. 1: Masnic/Tkachenko (OSU) def. #2 Thompson/Thompson (ND) 8-4
No. 2: Buck/L. Connelly (ND) def. Blaier/Collins (OSU) 8-2
No. 3: S.J. Connelly/Stastny (ND) def. Poskitt/Simmons (OSU) 8-3
Order of Finish: 2, 3*, 1