Irish fall to Boilermakers
Anne Loughery | Thursday, April 22, 2004
The Irish have seen better days.
Earlier this season, No. 27 Notre Dame (10-10) jumped to a 7-1 record, defeating regional rivals Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana. But Wednesday, the team fell 4-3 to No. 61 Purdue in a close meet.
Due to variable weather conditions and 25 mile per hour winds, the matches were moved indoors. This change of plans proved problematic for the Irish.
“The courts were a big factor today,” freshman Christian Thompson said. “Two of the courts were slower than the rest and the ball skidded on some of the courts.”
The Irish were ahead early in the meet, taking a 3-0 lead. Rallying from behind, the Boilermakers claimed wins in four singles matches at Nos. 1, 4, 5 and 6 to come out on top. This is the fourth 4-3 loss of the season for the Irish.
“It’s the end of the season and I think we’re really lacking confidence after the heartbreaking losses,” Thompson said. “It’s frustrating because we have so much talent. Everyone just needs to realize how talented they are, and that comes from within. If we can do that, then I think we’ll have a good end of the year.”
Notre Dame nearly swept doubles, triumphing at No. 1 and No. 2. No. 44 Catrina and Christian Thompson were first to walk off the courts with a win against Gretchen Haynor and Melissa Woods, 8-2, at No. 1. At No. 2 doubles, senior Alicia Salas and sophomore Lauren Connelly clinched the doubles point, outlasting Shawna Zuccarini and Hala Sufi 9-8 (7-4). Lara Bugarello and Alyssa Rodriguez defeated junior Sarah Jane Connelly and senior Emily Neighbours 8-6 at No. 3.
In singles, the Thompson twins posted points quickly at Nos. 2 and 3, both overcoming their opponents in about an hour’s time. Christian Thompson prevailed over Haynor 6-2, 6-0 at No. 2, recording wins in 10 straight games to complete the match. Catrina Thompson bested Amy Walgenbach 6-2, 6-1 to contribute the third point of the match to the Irish effort.
Purdue registered wins in the next four singles matches to win. At No. 1, Sufi triumphed over No. 19 Salas in three sets 6-2, 0-6, 6-0. Sufi proved to be a strong competitor, according to Christian Thompson.
“The girl playing [Salas] hit the ball like she was hitting a baseball,” Thompson said.
Rodriguez contributed a win at No. 4 versus Lauren Connelly 6-2, 6-3 and Zuccarini beat sophomore Kiki Stastny 6-3, 6-4 at No. 5 to tie the score of the meet 3-3.
The final match lasted for more than an hour, with Woods clinching the win for the Boilermakers 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (7-1).
“[Connelly] played a really well, but towards the end, the girl really fought back and kept slicing it,” Catrina Thompson said.
This was the final meet of the regular season for Notre Dame. The team will return to the courts for the Big East Tournament April 29-May 1.