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Women’s Tennis: Courtney to host top-10 showdown

Dan Tapetillo | Wednesday, April 5, 2006

After a 4-3-road victory over Purdue Sunday, Notre Dame returns home to face No. 9 Northwestern at the Courtney Tennis Center at 3:30 p.m. today.

Despite facing one of the nation’s top teams, the Irish are not allowing the pressure to get the best of them.

“This [match] is different than most because they are an incredibly tough team,” Notre Dame sophomore Brook Buck said. “But we are going into the match with the same mindset [as any other match].”

In the win over Purdue, Notre Dame improved its record to 18-1 after sweeping the doubles matches and earning three wins in singles. Irish junior Christian Thompson attributed the victory to the collective efforts of the team.

“The strength of our team comes from the depths of our hearts,” Thompson said. “And it’s only going to get stronger as we get closer to the NCAA [Tournament].”

The nationally ranked No. 3 doubles pairing of Thompson and Irish junior Catrina Thompson downed Purdue’s Brooke Beier and Mallory Voelker 8-2 at No. 1 Sunday. The Thompsons were followed by the Notre Dame’s No. 29 pair of Buck and Kelcy Tefft, who defeated Randi Schuler and Stephanie Wooten 8-4 at No. 2. The final doubles win came from seniors Lauren Connelly and Kiki Stastny when they beat Anna Dzeva and Brittany Minna 8-4 at No. 3.

Notre Dame is determined in continuing their flawless streak this season of earning the doubles point against Northwestern.

“We feel secure as we should [win the point against Northwestern], but we shouldn’t be overconfident because they have good doubles [teams] too,” Buck said. “Everyone is going to have to play well tomorrow, and I have full confidence we will.”

The Irish have failed to secure the victory just once this season in singles – a 4-3 loss to Vanderbilt March 29. Notre Dame is hoping not to repeat that loss.

“We lost and it was a tough match, but it wasn’t like we weren’t fighting until the last point, and our coaches realize that,” Buck said. “That day, Vanderbilt was a better team than we were. I think it was good for us, because we hopefully learned form it and use it to play well against Northwestern.”