Nov. 4, 2005
COLUMBUS, Ohio & URBANA, Ill. – Notre Dame junior twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) saw their attempt to be the first team from any school ever to claim the doubles titles in the first two grand slams of a season thwarted Friday morning, as they lost to a team from Stanford comprised of one-half of last year’s NCAA doubles champions and a member of the squad that was the runner-up in that tournament. Catrina did advance in the consolation bracket in singles, while the rest of the Irish posted a combined 8-4 record in opening-day action at Midwest Blast VII in the University of Illinois’ Atkins Tennis Center.
The Thompsons, the tournament’s top seed, lost 8-3 to Alice Barnes and Anne Yelsey from two-time defending NCAA team champion Stanford. Barnes, a native of England, teamed with Erin Burdette to prevail in last year’s NCAA doubles tournament, and that team also eliminated the Thompsons in last year’s National Indoor Championships, with a 9-7 victory in the semifinals. Yelsey paired with two-time NCAA singles champ Amber Liu to reach the final of last year’s NCAA Doubles Championship before falling to their teammates. Barnes and Yelsey gained a measure of revenge after the Thompsons beat them 9-7 in the quarterfinals of the season’s first grand slam, the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. The Notre Dame sisters finished the fall with a 6-1 record in doubles, posting four victories against top-10 foes.
Catrina Thompson, ranked 27th, earned a singles victory in consolation action later in the day, defeating #65 Stephanie Kusano, who played mostly No. 2 for California last spring, 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. The Irish junior, who is now 10-4 on the fall with six wins over ranked players, will try to get a measure of revenge against 26th-ranked Yelsey on Saturday when the two meet in the backdraw quarterfinals no earlier than 11 a.m. (EST). The Cardinal junior earned an invitation to the NCAA Singles Championship last year. The winner of that match will take on either #21 Helena Besovic from TCU or Kentucky’s 13th-ranked Kim Coventry in the consolation semis no earlier than 1:30 p.m.
In Urbana, the rest of the Notre Dame women’s tennis team had a strong first day of action. Five Irish players – seniors Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) and Kelly Nelson (St. Petersburg, Fla./Shorecrest Preparatory School), sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School), and freshmen Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) and Kelcy Tefft (Enid, Okla./Chisholm H.S.) – were victorious in both singles and doubles.
Buck, the lone nationally-ranked singles player in the tournament, won 6-3, 6-4 over Macall Harkins of Illinois. The Irish sophomore, currently ranked 54th, also beat Harkins in straight sets at No. 2 in last spring’s 4-3 Notre Dame win in dual-match play. Earlier in the day, she paired with Tefft to defeat Maria Klokotsky and Robyn White of Louisville 8-4. Buck and Tefft, ranked 60th in the nation in doubles, improved to 8-2 this fall. The rookie followed it up with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-4 triumph over Momei Qu, who earned a victory over Christian Thompson last spring at No. 3. Tefft is 6-1 in singles action as a collegian.
Connelly and fellow senior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) earned their team-leading 11th victory in 15 doubles matches this season. They beat Suzanna Gracanin and Natalie Laszowski 8-2. Connelly then defeated Illinois’ Emily Wang 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 in singles.
Nelson moved to 9-2 in singles this fall by downing Peruvian Alejandra Meza Cuadra from Illinois 7-6 (7-4), 6-2. In the morning, she and Potts beat Louisville’s Ariana Marshall and Stephania Velazquez 8-5. Potts beat another rookie, Shivani Dave of Illinois, 6-3, 6-1 in singles action.
Notre Dame got its first close look at new BIG EAST rival Louisville on Friday, winning three of four doubles matches against the Cardinals, who went 21-10 last season and peaked at 68th in the national rankings before falling out late in the season.
On Saturday, the Irish will play singles matches against Wisconsin beginning at 9:30 a.m. (EST) and will then take on the Cardinals in singles at 10:30 a.m.
ITA National Intercollegiate Indoor Championships (November 4)Singles Consolation - round of 16#27 Catrina Thompson (ND) def. #65 Stephanie Kusano (California) 2-6, 6-3, 6-1Doubles Main Draw - quarterfinals#6 Alice Barnes/Anne Yelsey (Stanford) def.  #2 Catrina Thompson/Christian Thompson (ND) 8-3
Midwest Blast VII (November 4)SinglesPavlina Akritas (Illinois) def. Liz Donohue (ND) 7-5, 6-1Erin Jobe (Wisconsin) def. Bailey Louderback (ND) 6-2, 7-5#54 Brook Buck (ND) def. Macall Harkins (Illinois) 6-3, 6-4Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Momei Qu (Illinois) 7-6 (9-7), 6-4Brianna Knue (Illinois) def. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-1, 6-0Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Emily Wang (Illinois) 3-6, 6-2, 6-0Katie Potts (ND) def. Shivani Dave (Illinois) 6-3, 6-1Kelly Nelson (ND) def. Alejandra Meza Cuadra (Illinois) 7-6 (7-4), 6-2Doubles#60 Brook Buck/Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Maria Klokotsky/Robyn White (Louisville) 8-4Lauren Connelly/Kristina Stastny (ND) def. Suzanna Gracanin/Natalie Laszowski (Louisville) 8-2Kelly Nelson/Katie Potts (ND) def. Ariana Marshall/Stephania Velazquez (Louisville) 8-5Bianna Gorbea/Natalia Baez (Louisville) def. Liz Donohue/Bailey Louderback (ND) 8-4