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Women’s Tennis: Irish beat Illini in third shutout of the season

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, March 6, 2006

The No. 5 Irish (11-0) kept their undefeated record in tact as they shut out the No. 49 Illini – their third shutout this season. The win extends Notre Dame’s streak to five straight matches against Big Ten Conference opponents.

“We don’t look at it as a shut out as much as a big victory,” sophomore Brook Buck said. “It took a lot of fighting from us.”

The Irish began this hard-fought contest by claiming two of the three doubles matches to earn the doubles point. However, the No. 2 team of juniors Christian and Catrina Thompson suffered their second loss this season.

“[The contest was difficult at first] because everyone is out to get us since we’re undefeated,” senior Lauren Connelly said. “We started off slow, but after the doubles point, it went pretty smoothly.”

The first to walk off the courts for the Irish was the No. 49 pairing of Connelly and senior Kiki Stastny with an 8-3 triumph over the Illini’s Momei Qu and Shivani Dave’ at No. 3. The Irish duo now stands at 10-1 this season.

Next off the courts were Notre Dame’s No. 29 senior twosome of Buck and freshman Kelcy Tefft, who topped Illinois’ Brianna Knue and Alejandra Meza Cuadra 8-4 at No. 2, securing the doubles points.

However, the Irish pairing of Christian and Catrina Thompson could not overcome Illinois’ Macall Harkins and Emily Wang, losing 8-3.

“Christian and I weren’t at our best today and that really hurt us,” Catrina Thompson said. “We are just going to have to rebound for next week and keep practicing hard and not overlooking any of our opponents.”

In singles, No. 27 Catrina Thomspon recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win over Harkins at No. 1. The win improved Thompson’s record to 15-6 on the season.

Playing at No. 2 for the Irish was Christian Thompson, who downed Qu 6-0, 6-3.

Following at No. 3 was Buck with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Knue and now stands at 13-6 on the season.

The win at No. 4 came from Tefft as she defeated Wang 6-2, 6-4.

Stastny’s win at No. 5 continued the streak after topping Meza Cuadra 6-1, 6-0.

Irish freshman Katie Potts completed the sweep in singles as she defeated Dave’ 6-4, 6-1.

“Everyone is on top of their game,” Connelly said. “Illinois is really energetic, so it was a good win for us.”

The Irish return to play on Friday when they face Western Michigan at the Eck Tennis Pavilion at 3:30 p.m.