Sept. 22, 2006

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Notre Dame women’s tennis team opened the 2006 fall season Friday with an impressive performance on the first day of the Roberta Allison Invitational hosted by the University of Alabama. The Irish were a perfect 4-0 in doubles action, while seven singles players combined for an 11-3 record.

The nation’s No. 3 ranked doubles duo of Christian and Catrina Thompson routed Martina Banikova and Elna de Villiers of Mississippi State, 8-3. With the victory, the twins improved to 73-31 in their doubles’ career.

Junior Brook Buck and sophomore Kelcy Tefft, ranked No. 27 in the preseason ITA rankings, had little trouble with Paulina Bigos and Nicole Briceno of Alabama, 8-1. The freshman tandem of Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik opened their Notre Dame doubles’ career with an 8-4 triumph over the Crimson Tide’s Bianca Svensson and Alice Tunaru. Sophomore Katie Potts and freshman Colleen Rielley defeated Yudeshnee Pillay and Rachel Dunlavy of Auburn, 8-2.

Catrina, seeded No. 2 in the “Crimson” flight, opened her singles action with a 6-1, 6-0 straight-set victory over Mari Muller of Alabama. She followed up that performance with another straight-set victory, this time defeating No. 3 seed Taka Bertrand of Vanderbilt, 6-2, 7-5.

Christian, seeded No. 4 in the same flight, beat Martina Banikova of Mississippi State, 7-5, 6-0. In her second match of the day, Christian dropped a hard-fought, 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 match to top-seed Amanda Fish of Vanderbilt.

Buck cruised through her first match in the “White” flight. She routed Kathryn Carroll of Birmingham-Southern, 6-1, 6-0. She was not able to follow up that victorious effort with another in the second round. Hannah Kuervers of Auburn-Montgomery, 6-4, 6-3, defeated Buck.

Tefft and Rielley both cruised through two matches in the “Black” flight. Tefft defeated Elna de Villiers of Mississippi State, 6-0, 6-1 and second-seeded Courtney Ulery of Vanderbilt, 6-0, 7-5. Rielley also registered two straight-set victories. She whipped Anna Jackson of Samford, 6-0, 6-3 and was taken to the limit by top-seed Alex Haney, but came away with a 7-5, 7-6 victory.

Ciobanu opened her Irish career with a straight-set victory over Stephanie Boucher of Birmingham-Southern, 6-1, 6-0. She dropped her next match, 6-3, 6-1, to Catherine Newman of Vanderbilt.

Potts might have put together the two most impressive performances of the day. She beat Deandra Saddler of Mississippi State, 6-2, 6-3. She then cruised past Andrea Brenes of Alabama, 6-1, 6-1.

Second day of competition gets underway on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m.

(1) Thompson/Thompson (ND) def. Banikova/de Villiers (MSU), 8-3

(2) Buck/Tefft (ND) def. Bigos/Briceno (UA), 8-1

(2) Ciobanu/Krisik (ND) def. Svensson/Tunaru (UA), 8-4

(1) Potts/Rielley (ND) def. Pillay/Dunlavy (AU), 8-2

(4) Christian Thompson (ND) def. Martina Banikova (MSU), 7-5, 6-0 (2) Catrina Thompson (ND) def. Mari Muller (UA), 6-1, 6-0

(1) Amanda Fish (Vandy) def. Christian Thompson (ND), 6-7, 6-3, 7-5 (2) Catrina Thompson (ND) def. (3) Taka Bertrand (Vandy), 6-2, 7-5

(1) Brook Buck (ND) def. Kathryn Carroll (BSC), 6-1, 6-0 Hannah Kuervers (AUM) def. (1) Brook Buck (ND), 6-4, 6-3

(3) Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. Elna de Villiers (MSU), 6-0, 6-1 (4) Colleen Rielley (ND) def. Anna Jackson (Sam), 6-0, 6-3

(3) Kelcy Tefft (ND) def. (2) Courtney Ulery (Vandy), 6-0, 7-5 (4) Colleen Rielley (ND) def. (1) Alex Haney (AU), 7-5, 7-6

(4) Cosmina Ciobanu (ND) def. Stephanie Boucher (BSC), 6-1, 6-0 (2) Katie Potts (ND) def. Deandra Saddler (MSU), 6-2, 6-3

(1) Catherine Newman (Vandy) def. (4) Cosmina Ciobanu (ND), 6-3, 6-1 (2) Katie Potts (ND) def. Andrea Brenes (UA), 6-1, 6-1

— ND —