Thompson Twins Repeat As ITA All-Americans

June 8, 2006

Junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) were named All-Americans by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) for their doubles prowess earlier this month, repeating a feat they accomplished in 2004-05. The Thompsons finished the season with a 22-7 record and were 10th in the final ITA national doubles rankings after ascending to #1 earlier this spring.

The ITA All-America team consisted of all players who met at least one of three criteria in singles or doubles. In singles, an individual must 1) finish in the top 20 of the final ITA national singles rankings; 2) earn one of the 16 seeds in the NCAA Singles Championship; 3) advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA Singles Championship. To earn All-America mention in doubles, a player must 1) finish in top 10 of final ITA national doubles rankings; 2) earn one of the eight seeds in the NCAA Doubles Championship; 3) advance to the quarterfinals in the NCAA Doubles Championship.

The twins, who fulfilled the first two requirements in doubles, delivered Notre Dame’s first-ever ITA grand-slam title, winning the doubles draw in the Riviera ITA All-American Championships last October. They then fell in the quarterfinals of the season’s second grand slam, the ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships, to eventual champions Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey of Stanford, who finished as the nation’s top-ranked squad. The Thompsons were 16-5 in dual-match action at No. 1 and posted an 8-5 record against nationally-ranked teams. They were 5-2 in close matches and were ranked in the top 10 all season, finishing with their lowest listing since the 2003-04 campaign. During their careers, they hold a 72-30 record together, including 28-17 vs. nationally-ranked opponents.

Prior to coming to Notre Dame, the Thompsons were the #1-ranked 18-and-under girls’ doubles team in the nation, having won six national USTA championships, coming on every surface. They were ranked as high as 573rd in the world in doubles and played in the girls’ doubles main draw in the U.S. Open.

The Thompsons remain the only Notre Dame twins ever to earn All-America accolades. Only three Irish women’s tennis players previously had been All-Americans in multiple seasons: Wendy Crabtree (1993-94, 1994-95), Jennifer Hall (1995-96, 1997-98, 1998-99), and current assistant coach Michelle Dasso (1998-99, 2000-01). Since 1994, Notre Dame has seen eight different players garner a total of 17 All-America citations.

In the final ITA national singles rankings, Notre Dame had three players listed. Catrina Thompson came in 30th, while sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) was 90th, and Christian Thompson was 125th.

Also released recently were the ITA’s final regional rankings, which saw Notre Dame – which went 27-2 and finished fifth nationally after reaching the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament – listed as the top squad in the Midwest Region for the first time since 1999-2000, supplanting Northwestern from that perch. It is the fifth time since 1995-96 that the Irish have been the region’s top team. In singles, Catrina Thompson was ranked third, Buck eighth, and Christian Thompson 11th, with freshman Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) listed 23rd. The Thompsons were second in doubles – behind NCAA champions Cristelle Grier and Alexis Prousis from Northwestern – with Buck and Tefft coming in ninth, and the team of seniors Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) and team captain Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) at 11th.