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Shutout moves streak to 16

Joe Meixell | Wednesday, April 11, 2007

No. 2 Notre Dame extended its dual match-winning streak to 16 with 7-0 victories over No. 33 Indiana Saturday and No. 50 Ohio State Monday.

“We went through a little stretch where we played all right,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “But we didn’t play like we could, but the last two weeks we’ve been back playing well again.”

Over the past few weeks, the Irish have weathered injuries to freshman Colleen Rielley and junior Brook Buck to keep their streak going en route to a 21-1 overall record. Buck sat out again this weekend with an undisclosed injury while Rielley, who played in Notre Dame’s previous match against Purdue last Tuesday, sat out the Indiana match with the flu.

“[Colleen] can’t catch a break. But she played against Ohio State. She played really well in the doubles, but a little rusty in the singles,” Louderback said. Rielley won her singles match against Christina Keesey of Ohio State 6-4, 5-7, 1-0 (11-9).

The injuries have forced the Irish to switch their doubles pairings, but Notre Dame hasn’t missed a beat.

The All-American team of seniors Christian and Catrina Thompson won both of their matches. Notre Dame’s new No. 2 doubles team of freshman Kali Krisik and sophomore Kelcy Tefft also knotted a pair of victories to improve to 5-0 since playing together.

Freshman Cosmina Ciobanu played with sophomore Katie Potts against Indiana and won 8-6 over Erin Clark and Brianna Williams. Ciobanu then paired with Rielley against the Buckeyes. The duo defeated Ally Mueller and Keesey 8-1.

Louderback was pleased with his doubles teams’ performances given the success the Hoosiers had against No. 9 Northwestern.

“Doubles looked good. All the doubles teams looked very good,” Louderback said. “Indiana’s doubles are good. They won the doubles point two days later against Northwestern.”

In singles play, No. 26 Catrina Thompson won her match over Indiana’s Alba Berdala Saturday 6-0, 6-2 and survived a first-round scare against Ohio State’s Julie Blackmore to pull off a 7-5, 6-1 victory.

Christian Thompson won both of her matches from the No. 2 slot. Against Indiana’s Laura McGaffigan, Thompson survived two tiebreakers to win 7-5, 6-7 (5-7), 1-0 (10-4). She had an easier time with Ohio State’s Ally Mueller, winning 6-2, 6-1.

Tefft dropped just four games in her two matches. She improved to 16-3 in dual matches this season and has won her last seven.

Ciobanu kept her perfect streak going, improving to 22-0 in dual matches with a pair of victories. Krisik also has an unbeaten streak of her own going.

Since entering the lineup after the injuries to Buck and Rielley, Krisik has won all six of her matches. Potts, who played in place of Rielley against Indiana, won her sixth dual match of the season with a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Lindsey Stuckey.

The Irish will face No. 9 Northwestern for the second time this season Friday. Notre Dame previously beat the Wildcats 4-3 in the semifinals of the ITA National Indoor Tournament Feb. 4. The victory lifted the Irish to their first-ever finals appearance in that tournament.

“They’ll be gunning for us. I guarantee it,” Louderback said. “It’s going to be a good match.”