Senior twins Catrina and Christian Thompson.

Thompsons Win First Pro Tournament Title; Incoming Freshman Kali Krisik Claims Three ITA Summer Circuit Crowns

July 25, 2006

Notre Dame All-America twins Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) reached another milestone in their prolific doubles career, winning their first professional title last weekend in the Via Christi Women’s 10k of Wichita at the Sheldon Coleman Tennis Complex in Wichita, Kan. Another Irish player, incoming freshman Kali Krisik (Arkansas City, Kan./Arkansas City H.S.) – the niece of head coach Jay Louderback – also has collected hardware this month, winning a pair of singles titles and a doubles crown on the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) Summer Circuit.

The Thompsons – who will be seniors at Notre Dame this fall and are allowed to play in professional tournaments while maintaining their collegiate eligibility providing they do not accept prize money from the events – dropped just one set en route to four consecutive victories in Wichita, topping a field that featured several current and former collegiate standouts and players who bypassed college in order to concentrate on their pro careers. Catrina Thompson also made a deep run in singles, knocking off the top-seeded player – who is ranked in the top 600 in the world – en route to reaching the semifinals. Another player who will join the Irish this fall, Colleen Rielley (Overland Park, Kan./Bishop Miege H.S.), advanced through qualifying in the event and then won a match in the main draw before falling to the same player that would eliminate Thompson.

Rielley, Krisik, and rising sophomore Katie Potts (Brookfield, Wis./Divine Savior Holy Angels H.S.) all took part in the ITA Summer Circuit event held at Notre Dame’s Courtney Tennis Center from July 7-9. Rielley and Potts were both defeated in the quarterfinals, but Krisik kept winning, taking the crown as an unseeded competitor. The following week, she won both the singles and doubles titles in the ITA Summer Circuit event at Kansas State.

The Thompsons, who earned entrance to the main draw due to a wild card, beat Tiffany Tucker – who will be a junior at LSU this season – and Megan Falcon 6-2, 6-4 in the opening round and then topped Rielley and former Richmond and South Carolina standout Jodi Kenoyer 6-1, 6-3 in the quarterfinals. The Irish twins dropped the opening set against the TCU tandem of Helena Besovic and Anna Sydorska in the semifinals, but rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory over the Horned Frog duo, which won the ITA Southwest Region title and finished last season 24th in the ITA national rankings. The title match saw the Thompsons win 6-2, 6-3 against North Carolina’s Jenna Long and Georgia Tech’s Christy Striplin. Long is a prolific college doubles player who finished last season ranked fifth nationally in partnered play and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Doubles Championship. Also UNC’s top singles player and a participant in the NCAA singles tournament in May, she beat the Thompsons in dual doubles action in February in an 8-3 match in Chapel Hill.

The Thompsons have excelled at every level, first winning six United States Tennis Association (USTA) super national championships in the juniors and ascending to the national #1 ranking in the 18-and-under division. As collegians, they have twice been ranked #1 in the nation and became the first Notre Dame doubles team to reach the final of a grand slam tournament in the fall of 2004 at the Riviera/ITA All-American Championships. Last fall, they went one step further, winning that event to give ND its first-ever collegiate grand slam title. In three seasons – the last two of which saw them named ITA All-Americans in doubles – they have a 72-31 (.699) record together, including 47-20 (.701) at No. 1 in dual action. The Thompsons have a 28-18 mark against nationally-ranked teams, with 11 of those wins coming against top-10 squads. They have played sporadically in pro tournaments over the years and both rose into the top 600 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) world doubles rankings in 2003.

In singles, Catrina Thompson knocked off the tournament’s No. 8 seed, Lauren Shumate – ranked 978th in the world – in the first round, when her opponent retired due to injury with Thompson ahead 6-2, 4-0. The Irish senior then won 6-0, 6-1 against Kristen Bleakley in the second round and knocked off top-seeded Jennifer Elie – ranked 592nd in the world (52nd among Americans) – 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. Her run ended in the semis in a 6-2, 6-1 decision against fourth-seeded and 794th-ranked Lauren Albanese.

Krisik notched easy victories in the first two rounds at Notre Dame and then beat one of the Nos. 5-8 seeds, Barbara Zidek – who played Nos. 5 and 6 for William & Mary (which finished 2005-06 27th in the ITA national team rankings) in the spring – 6-1, 6-2. Next, she beat third-seeded Mallory Voelker 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. Voelker played Nos. 3 and 4 for Purdue (finished 40th) and even cracked the national top 100 in singles in April. In the semis, Krisik beat second-seeded Elizabeth Lumpkin of UCLA 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8). Lumpkin played Nos. 5 and 6 for the Bruins (16th in the final rankings) and has been ranked as high as 98th in the nation during her career. In the final, she won 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) against Florida’s Keri Robison. The Gator saw some time at the bottom of the singles lineup (Florida finished the season ranked #2) and posted a 7-0 record in her first collegiate season.

Potts and Rielley were both Nos. 5-8 seeds, but were beaten by the top two seeds in the quarters. Potts lost 6-1, 6-3 to top-seeded Caitlin Burke, Wisconsin’s top player who played in the NCAA Singles Championship last spring and has been ranked as high as 20th in the nation. Rielley lost 6-3, 6-1 to Lumpkin. In doubles, the team lost 8-4 in the semis against Lumpkin and Robison.

Krisik had little trouble in the singles draw at Kansas State, dropping just 10 total games in six sets – never more than two in a set – en route to her title. She beat Amanda Pratzel – who played in the bottom half of Missouri’s lineup in the spring – 6-2, 6-2 in the final. In doubles, she and Jennifer Keiner from Washburn University won a tiebreaker in the semifinals and then beat a Missouri team 8-4 in the title match.

See below for complete results of Notre Dame’s players in these tournaments.

Via Christi Women's 10k of Wichita - July 17-23, Wichita, KSSinglesColleen Rielley (USA) def. Tiffany Tucker (USA) 6-1, 6-2 - qualifyingColleen Rielley (USA) def. Bianca Aboubakare (USA) 6-1, 6-3 - qualifyingColleen Rielley (USA) def. #1060 Ana-Maria Moura (BRA) 7-6 (8-6), 6-0 - first roundCatrina Thompson (USA) def. [8] #978 Lauren Shumate (USA) 6-2, 4-0, ret. - first roundChristy Striplin (USA) def. Christian Thompson (USA) 6-2, 6-2 - first round[4] #794 Lauren Albanese (USA) def. Colleen Rielley (USA) 6-2, 6-0 - round of 16Catrina Thompson (USA) def. Kristen Bleakley (USA) 6-0, 6-1 - round of 16Catrina Thompson (USA) def. [1] #592 Jennifer Elie (USA) 6-1, 4-6, 6-2 - quarterfinals[4] #794 Lauren Albanese (USA) def. Catrina Thompson (USA) 6-2, 6-1 - semifinalsDoublesJodi Kenoyer/Rielley (USA) def. Jennifer Elie (USA)/Yolande Leacock (TRI) 6-1, 6-4 - first roundThompson/Thompson (USA) def. Megan Falcon/Tiffany Tucker (USA) 6-2, 6-4 - first roundThompson/Thompson (USA) def. Kenoyer/Rielley (USA) 6-1, 6-3 - quarterfinalsThompson/Thompson (USA) def. Helena Besovic (BIH)/Anna Sydorska (UKR) 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 - semifinalsThompson/Thompson (USA) def. Jenna Long/Christy Striplin (USA) 6-2, 6-3 - final
ITA Summer CircuitMidwest Circuit - Notre Dame, IN, July 7-9SinglesKali Krisik (ND) def. Shannon Gehrke (Indiana Wesleyan) 6-2, 6-0 - first round[5-8] Katie Potts (ND) def. Ashley Moccia (Western Michigan) 6-0, 6-2 - first round[5-8] Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Jeanette Feider (Xavier) 6-1, 6-1 - first roundKali Krisik (ND) def. Bojana Murisic (DePaul) 6-2, 6-4 - second round[5-8] Katie Potts (ND) def. Alison Koopson (Grand Valley State) 6-3, 6-2 - second round[5-8] Colleen Rielley (ND) def. C. Keesey 6-3, 6-1 - second roundKali Krisik (ND) def. [5-8] Barbara Zidek (William & Mary) 6-1, 6-2 - round of 16[5-8] Katie Potts (ND) def. Stephanie Kebler (Michigan State) 6-2, 6-3 - round of 16[5-8] Colleen Rielley (ND) def. T. Marable 6-0, 6-4 - round of 16Kali Krisik (ND) def. [3] Mallory Voelker (Purdue) 7-5, 6-2 - quarterfinals[1] Caitlin Burke (Wisconsin) def. [5-8] Katie Potts (ND) 6-1, 6-3 - quarterfinals[2] Elizabeth Lumpkin (UCLA) def. [5-8] Colleen Rielley (ND) 6-3, 6-1 - quarterfinalsKali Krisik (ND) def. [2] Elizabeth Lumpkin (UCLA) 6-3, 3-6, 1-0 (10-8) - semifinalsKali Krisik (ND) def. [5-8] Keri Robison (Florida) 5-7, 6-3, 1-0 (10-5) - finalDoublesPotts/Rielley (ND) def. Gambrel/Murisic 8-0 - round of 16Potts/Rielley (ND) def. Calcatarraf/Jeanmaire 8-2 - quarterfinalsLumpkin (UCLA)/Robison (Florida) def. Potts/Rielley (ND) 8-4 - semifinalsCentral Circuit - Manhattan, KS, July 15-18Singles[1] Kali Krisik (ND) def. Stephanie Johns (Missouri) 6-1, 6-2 - quarterfinals[1] Kali Krisik (ND) def. [3] Shannon Brown (Marquette) 6-2, 6-1 - semifinals[1] Kali Krisik (ND) def. [2] Amanda Pratzel (Missouri) 6-2, 6-2 - finalDoubles[1] Krisik/Keiner def. Reys/Seltsam 9-8 (7-5) - semifinals[1] Krisik/Keiner def. Bellis/Svetlic (Missouri) 8-4 - final
Notes: Seedings are in brackets. Numbers before names are Women's Tennis Association (WTA) world rankings.