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ND Women’s Tennis: ND hosts to Top-25 teams

Chris Hine | Friday, March 2, 2007

No. 2 Notre Dame will face two more top-25 teams this weekend as the Irish take on No. 23 Texas A&M and No. 19 Texas at the Eck Tennis Center. Notre Dame (10-1) enters the weekend riding a five-match winning streak and has a chance to extend its 25-match home winning streak today against the Aggies. Texas A&M (10-1) rolls into South Bend playing its best tennis in recent memory. The Aggies broke into the top-25 for the first time in two years this week and carry an eight-match winning streak into today’s match. Last season, the Irish barely nipped Texas A&M, 4-3, in College Station, Texas.”They’re a group that competes really well,” Notre Dame coach Jay Louderback said. “They have a feisty team. It’ll be a tough match.”Louderback said he expects to see some familiar faces from last year’s close game.”They have mostly everyone back from last year, plus they have a freshman [No. 35 Elze Potgieter] that’s playing in their top three,” he said. “They’re a little better than they were last year.”The Aggies also feature No. 65 senior Anna Lubinsky and senior Sarah Foster, who owns a 10-1 dual match record to lead Texas A&M.The Longhorns will try their luck against the Irish Saturday. Last week, Texas dropped two tight matches against No. 9 Miami (4-3) and No. 3 Florida (5-2)”They’re a talented team,” Louderback said. “They have very good doubles teams, too. I think winning doubles is going to be really important.”Since Notre Dame lost the doubles point against No. 4 North Carolina two weeks ago, Louderback shifted the emphasis in practice from singles to doubles work.”We’ve been working on the kids doing a little more poaching, crossing, and being a little more aggressive than we have been the past couple of weeks,” he said.No. 5 Christian and Catrina Thompson lead the Irish on the doubles side, while No. 16 Catrina Thompson and freshman Cosmina Ciobanu lead the Irish in singles. Ciobanu will try to keep her perfect 11-0 dual match record alive. Sophomore Kelcy Tefft, who is 7-1 in dual match play, has won her last six matches.”I’ve been really happy,” Louderback said. “We’ve played great singles all year long. I think we’ll keep it up because we’ve been competing really well.”