May 24, 2005
ATHENS, Ga. – Notre Dame sophomore twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), the #6-ranked team in the nation, opened play in the NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Doubles Championship by defeating the 14th-ranked team of Zsuzsanna Fodor of Hungary and Anastasia Kugakolova of Russia from Mississippi State by scores of 6-3, 6-1 Tuesday afternoon at the University of Georgia’s Dan Magill Tennis Complex. In singles action, Catrina Thompson fell in three sets earlier in the day in the second round of the NCAA singles tournament.
The Thompsons, one of the Nos. 5-8 seeds in the event, were in a tight match early on, holding a slim 4-3 advantage in the opening set before going on to win eight of the next nine games to close out the match and move into the round of 16 for the second consecutive year. The Notre Dame sisters will next face the Texas Christian team of Ana Cetnik of Serbia and Story Tweedie-Yates, who are ranked 29th, on Wednesday.
The winner of that contest will take on a top-10 team, either the No. 3 seed, third-ranked Megan Bradley and Audrey Banada of Miami, or the #9-ranked team of Jennifer Magley and Zerene Reyes of Florida. Notre Dame beat the Miami duo 8-5 in the quarters of last fall’s ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championship.
The Thompsons improved to 8-2 this season against top-15 teams and 28-6 overall. They are 9-2 in tournament action, as well as 20-5 away from home and 15-3 outdoors. The twins have won five consecutive matches and are 15-3 vs. nationally-ranked teams.
The victory was the sixth in grand-slam play this season, the most of any Division I team. The Thompsons were the only squad to advance to the semifinals of both of the first two grand slams of this season, falling in the title match of the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships and losing in the semis of the national indoors.
Catrina Thompson is now 30-6 in doubles action this season, making her the sixth Irish player to win 30+ doubles contests in a season.
Notre Dame teams now stand 9-3 in opening-round action in the NCAA doubles tournament. The Thompsons are the third team to reach the final 16 on two different occasions. Tiffany Gates and Jennifer Hall did so in 1997 and ’98, while current assistant coach Michelle Dasso and Becky Varnum were round-of-16 participants in 2000 and ’01.
Tuesday marked the second time Notre Dame and Mississippi State teams matched up in the NCAA Doubles Championship. In the initial meeting, Courtney Chapman and Agnes Muzamel of MSU, one of the Nos. 5-8 seeds, prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in the round of 16 against Hall and Tiffany Gates in 1997.
Catrina Thompson fell 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2 in the singles round of 32 on Tuesday morning against Carlotti. The Irish sophomore finished the season with a 24-10 record, including 12-10 vs. nationally-ranked players. It was just the fourth three-set affair of the season for Thompson, and the first since March 22. Carlotti, now 24-12 this season, is a senior from Paris, France, who played her first two years of collegiate tennis at Fresno State, being tabbed an All-American in both seasons. This is her fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA singles tournament and her second time advancing to the round of 16 (also in 2002). Carlotti, who has been ranked as high as #5 in the nation and also was in the final 16 in the first grand slam of the season, will face the tournament’s No. 5 seed, fifth-ranked Jennifer Magley of Florida on Wednesday.
Tuesday marked the fifth time that a Notre Dame player took part in the round of 32 in both the NCAA singles and doubles tournaments. It was previously done by Wendy Crabtree in 1993 and ’95, Hall in 1997, and Dasso in 2001.
Thompson was the first Notre Dame player to win a match in the NCAA singles tournament since Dasso reached the semifinals in 2001. That also was the last time that the Irish had someone in the final 32 of the singles draw of any grand slam. Thompson became the first ND player to win in her NCAA Singles Championship debut since Hall did so in 1996.
Live scoring and results of all NCAA matches are available on the official website of Georgia athletics, www.georgiadogs.com.
2005 NCAA Division I Women’s Tennis Championships
Singles Second Round (Round of 32)
#38 Chloe Carlotti (Mississippi) def. #44 Catrina Thompson (Notre Dame) 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-2
Doubles First Round (Round of 32)
[5-8 seed] #6 Catrina Thompson/Christian Thompson (ND) def. #14 Zsuzsanna Fodor/Anastasia Kugakolova (Mississippi State) 6-3, 6-1