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ND Women’s Tennis: BYU presents chance to rebound

Dan Masterton | Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Road-weary No. 12 Notre Dame begins its home schedule today against No. 54 Brigham Young after losing two of its first three matches on the road. Notre Dame (1-2) looks to win two in a row over the Cougars (2-4) after winning 5-2 last season in Provo, Utah.

Notre Dame’s 4-3 loss to Michigan last Thursday did not sit well with Irish coach Jay Louderback, but the team has had five days to recover and prepare for BYU.

“We just didn’t play well at Michigan,” Louderback said. “Friday was so close to the loss that everyone was still down. We had a better practice Saturday. I’m looking for [Monday] to be another good one to get everyone ready.”

In addition to the time off, coach Louderback is happy to be home.

“It’s been tough to beat us here. We definitely need to play at home,” he said. “We had three in a row on the road to start, and I was hoping we’d be at least 2-1.”

Their match at Michigan helped prepare the Irish for BYU.

“Playing at Michigan, their courts are faster, and they hit the ball fast and hard,” Louderback said. “So playing BYU will be an advantage for us because these teams play similar.”

The Cougars’ strength is their doubles play. Both the No. 1 team of Anastasia Surkova and Jennifer Miccoli and the No. 2 pair of Dolly Chang and Kristina Doerr are 4-0 for the dual season.

“We lost the doubles point [to BYU] last year, and they have the same team coming back,” Louderback said. “They’re tough and hit the ball big, so we’ll work on doubles more [in practice on Monday] to get ready for them.”

Junior Kelcy Tefft leads the Irish, coming off a strong showing at Michigan. Louderback was pleased with her performance.

“She won 6-0, 6-0 and did it quickly,” he said. “She didn’t really let her opponent into the game at all.”

Tefft also contributed to a doubles match win over the Wolverines.

“Kelcy and [senior] Brook [Buck] were down 6-1, but came back and won 8-6,” Louderback said. “Even though they were down big, they didn’t panic.”

The pair of Tefft and Buck, the No. 3 doubles duo in the nation, has now won all three of their matches this season and are 14-2 overall.

BYU was upset in its last match against Washington, 4-3, and as a result dropped 26 spots in the rankings.