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Women’s Tennis: Irish avenge only 2006 loss

Joe Meixell | Monday, January 29, 2007

The No.4 Irish kicked off their dual match season this weekend, winning two matches against Illinois and avenging their lone 2006 loss against No. 12 Vanderbilt.

“It was great for us to come out and not only open our home schedule with a victory, but to get a victory against such a quality opponent is tremendous,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “I know this game meant a lot to our returning players after last season’s meeting.”

Sophomore Katie Potts sealed the 4-3 victory for the Irish over the Commodores Sunday, rallying from a 5-3 first set deficit to defeat Vanderbilt junior Caroline Ferrell 7-5, 6-4.

“It was a good tough match,” Louderback said. “We needed to get a tough match in before the [ITA National Indoor Championship].”

Notre Dame started the match against Vanderbilt by sweeping all three doubles matches and taking a 1-0 lead.

“For us, it was a big win in the doubles,” Louderback said. “It’s big for us to go out and start 1-0.”

The No. 11 ranked team of seniors Catrina and Christian Thompson defeated Ferrell and Amanda Taylor 8-3, while the No. 5 team of sophomore Kelcy Tefft and junior Brook Buck survived a scare from Taka Bertrand and Catherine Newman to win 8-7 and give Notre Dame the doubles point. Freshmen Cosmina Ciobanu and Kali Krisik completed the sweep in doubles by knocking off Liberty Sveke and Courtney Ulery 8-4.

No. 41 Catrina Thompson won a pivotal singles match against No. 42 Taylor 6-1, 6-4.

“Catrina Thompson played very well. She and Christian played very well in the doubles and then she had a good singles match,” Louderback said.

Ciobanu also won her singles match over Sveke 6-1, 6-4 to give the Irish a 2-0 lead on the day and improve her singles record to 12-4 on the year.

“Cosmina played a very, very solid singles match,” Louderback said. “[Sveke] is a hard kid to play indoors because she hits the ball big and comes into the net a lot.”

Vanderbilt gained some ground as its No. 57 Taka Bertrand defeated Notre Dame’s No. 31 Colleen Rielley while Ulery defeated Tefft 7-6 (6), 6-1 and No. 24 Catherine Newman knocked off Christian Thompson 6-4, 6-1 before Potts clinched the match for the Irish.

On Friday, the Irish swept Illinois and its head coach, former Irish assistant Michelle Dasso, 7-0 in Champaign, Ill.

The Irish are 2-0 in their dual match season and will next participate in the ITA National Indoor Championships Thursday.

“It should be good because there are sixteen teams there and fourteen of them are in the top eighteen in the country,” Louderback said. “It should be a good tournament.”