March 11, 2005
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A trio of three-set victories helped the 22nd-ranked University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team (6-5) claim a 5-2 road victory over #30 UNLV (5-2) Thursday afternoon at the Fertitta Tennis Complex. In a homecoming for Las Vegas natives and Bishop Gorman High School graduates Catrina Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.) and Christian Thompson (Las Vegas, Nev./Bishop Gorman H.S.), the Irish got a three-set victory from the latter at No. 3, as well as from junior Lauren Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) at No. 5 and sophomore Brook Buck (Yukon, Okla./Oklahoma Christian School) at No. 2 en route to their third win over a top-30 squad this season.
Notre Dame claimed 8-2 wins at both of the top two doubles positions and then won four of six in singles, including three of the four matches that were undecided after two sets.
The Irish led 2-1 with only three-set affairs left on the court. Buck, ranked 59th nationally in singles, then put her team within a point of victory by downing Gyorgyi Zsiros 6-2, 6-7, 6-2 at No. 2. She has won five of her last six matches and is 18-6 on the season, including 8-3 in dual action at No. 2. Buck is 10-3 in road action and 16-1 when taking the opening set. She is now 7-2 in close matches as a collegian, as well as 7-2 against lower-ranked players.
UNLV’s Cindy Treber then made the score 3-2, when she finished a 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 triumph over junior Kristina Stastny (St. Louis, Mo./St. Joseph’s Academy) at No. 4
Connelly, who had lost twice this season with the score tied 3-3, then delivered the clinching victory for the Irish, defeating Claire Smith 6-4, 4-6, 7-5 at No. 5. She moved to 17-6 on the season and notched her second clinching win of the spring and eighth of her career. Connelly improved to 8-2 in close matches this season and 4-0 outdoors.
Christian Thompson prevailed in the final match, beating Anne Claire Ortiz-Luis 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at No. 3. She is undefeated in four outdoor contests in 2004-05.
Notre Dame’s doubles play again was a strength, as the Irish won the match’s initial point for the 10th time in 11 chances this spring. The Thompson twins, ranked #2 in the nation, registered an 8-2 victory over Elena Gantcheva and Sharon Marin at No. 1 to improve to 18-3 on the season. They are 10-1 in dual-match action at No. 1 and 7-1 outdoors this season.
At No. 2, it was Buck and Connelly beating Ortiz-Luis and Linda Tempelfelde by the same score (8-2). The Irish pair is 19-6 on the season, including 8-3 this spring in dual play at No. 2. They are now 11-3 in road matches and 4-0 outdoors. With the win, Buck and Connelly once again avoided their first two-match losing streak.
Zsiros and Smith notched a win for the Rebels at No. 3, beating Stastny and senior captain Sarah Jane Connelly (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness H.S.) 8-4.
Connelly also made her spring debut in singles and lost just three games in a 6-2, 6-1 victory against Tempelfelde at No. 6. In playing singles competitively for the first time since Nov. 7, she improved to 10-3 overall this season and 6-0 when winning the opening set.
Gantcheva, a freshman ranked 21st in the nation, then beat 39th-ranked Catrina Thompson 7-6, 6-1 at No. 1 to improve to 22-2 this season, including 9-1 vs. ranked foes, and put UNLV on the board.
Notre Dame will conclude its spring-break trip by playing at #24 Brigham Young on Saturday at Noon (MST).
#22 Notre Dame 5, #30 UNLV 2
No. 1: #21 Elena Gantcheva (UNLV) def. #39 Catrina Thompson (ND) 7-6, 6-1
No. 2: #59 Brook Buck (ND) def. Gyorgyi Zsiros (UNLV) 6-2, 6-7, 6-2
No. 3: Christian Thompson (ND) def. Anne Claire Ortiz-Luis (UNLV) 6-2, 4-6, 6-4
No. 4: Cindy Treber (UNLV) def. Kristina Stastny (ND) 6-3, 4-6, 6-4
No. 5: Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Claire Smith (UNLV) 6-4, 4-6, 7-5
No. 6: Sarah Jane Connelly (ND) def. Linda Tempelfelde (UNLV) 6-2, 6-1
Order of Finish: 6, 1, 2, 4, 5*, 3
No. 1: #2 Thompson/Thompson (ND) def. Gantcheva/Sharon Marin (UNLV) 8-2
No. 2: Buck/Lauren Connelly (ND) def. Ortiz-Luis/Tempelfelde (UNLV) 8-2
No. 3: Zsiros/Smith (UNLV) def. Sarah Jane Connelly/Stastny (ND) 8-4