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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish welcome No. 6 Vanderbilt to the Eck

Anne Loughery | Friday, January 21, 2005

Talent and confidence make for a potent combination. Fortunately, these commodities are coming in bulk this season for the talent-laden Notre Dame team. Although the Irish graduated Alicia Salas, ranked No. 22 nationally last season, the team has proven itself capable of great success already this year. “Everyone has been playing so well lately in practices,” sophomore Christian Thompson said. “We have so much talent on our team. I think everyone is excited to see how far we can go this season.” The No. 21 Irish will face their first test of the season at Ohio State Saturday and are set to host No. 6 Vanderbilt on Sunday at 12 p.m. Thompson anticipates that both matches will prove to be challenging, but believes the team is more than capable of holding its own.”I think Ohio State will be hard because it’s the first match of the season, and Vanderbilt has a great team,” Thompson said. “But I think if we go out and play well, it will pretty much be up in the air [against Vanderbilt]. I don’t see us losing the doubles point.”Defeating Notre Dame’s solid doubles teams will be a tough chore for the Buckeyes, who are also taking the courts for the first time this season. Ohio State graduated four seniors last year, and expect to rely on the experience of senior veterans like captain Lindsey Adams and last season’s MVP Emily DeCamilla. Adams and De Camilla both scored 18 wins last spring and look to break the 20-win mark this season. Last season, the Irish bested the Buckeyes 5-2 and have won eight matches in a row against Ohio State. The last time the Buckeyes saw a win against the Irish was in 1990, when they won 7-2 in Columbus. After facing Ohio State, the Irish will host Vanderbilt, whose team has already seen its share of success this season. At 2-0, the Commodores have posted wins against Michigan State (7-0) and Virginia (5-2).Thompson said although the Commodores look to be tough opponents, the team feels it is more than prepared for any challenges it might face. “I feel like our team is especially close this year and that will make us a stronger team,” Thompson said. “There are times when you have to find it within yourself to come up with more to win. Knowing your team believes in you is huge, especially when you’re in a tight match.”