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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish salvage one win on trip

Lorenzo Reyes | Monday, February 25, 2008

Following a tough loss to No. 8 Duke Thursday, No. 15 Notre Dame brought a 1-2 record back from its trip to Tobacco Road.

Notre Dame 4, Wake Forest 3

Many of the Demon Deacon faithful in attendance in Winston-Salem expected a win after Wake Forest picked up the first two singles matches, but the Irish had other plans on their mind.

After securing the doubles point, Notre Dame ran into some struggles, but eventually turned up the pressure when they needed to.

The No. 3 doubles tandem in the nation of junior Kelcy Tefft and senior Brook Buck earned their fourth consecutive doubles victory with an 8-4 win over the No. 28 pair of sophomore Sasha Kulikova and senior Alex Hirsch.

After freshman Kristen Rafael and sophomore Kali Krisik dropped their doubles match 8-0, sophomore tag-team Cosmina Ciobanu and Colleen Rielley took care of business with an 8-5 win over junior Sierra Poske and freshman Emilee Malvehy, ensuring that the Irish would take the early lead.

In singles play, it appeared as though Tefft would have her hands full against Hirsch after the first set, which eventually went to a tiebreak in the junior’s favor. In the second set, Tefft won the final four games to take the victory, 7-6, 6-2, improving her record to 11-1 in the dual match season.

With the match tied at 2-2, junior Katie Potts gave the Irish a lead with a 7-6, 6-2 win over Malvehy. After taking the first set tiebreak, Potts won the first five games of the second set and cruised the rest of the way.

With the Irish up 3-2, one win was all Notre Dame needed to seal the deal. Krisik stepped up with her match-clinching 7-5, 6-4 win over freshman Katarina Reveche.

After taking the first set, Krisik built a 5-2 two lead in the second frame until she dropped consecutive games. The sophomore battled back and eventually won her eleventh match of the season.

Rielley dropped the last match, bringing the score to 4-3, but Notre Dame had already secured the victory.

North Carolina 6, Notre Dame 1

After losing to Notre Dame twice last year, North Carolina wanted revenge. A 6-1 victory over the Irish ensured just that.

Irish head coach Jay Louderback stressed the importance of doubles play the past couple of weeks to his team, and his squad responded, taking the doubles point in six straight matches. North Carolina, however, ended that streak Sunday, beating two of the three Irish pairs.

Buck and Tefft continued their impressive play, earning an 8-5 win over sophomore duo Sanaz Marand and Katrina Tsang and bringing the pair’s winning streak to five consecutive matches. However, both groups of Ciobanu and Rielley and Rafael and Krisk could not overcome a Tar Heel charge, giving North Carolina an early 1-0 lead.

Krisik got some redemption, picking up the only singles win and the only point Notre Dame would get in the match in a 6-4, 6-3 victory over junior Meg Fanjoy. With the win, Krisik ensured an undefeated road trip and, more importantly, brought the score to 3-1.

The Irish would drop the remainder of the singles matches, ending the road trip on a sour note. Notre Dame now returns home for what should be one of its most competitive opponents of the season.

Saturday at the Eck Tennis Pavilion, consensus No. 1 Georgia Tech comes into town in a match up of two squads that are quite familiar with each other. Last year, the Irish dropped two matches to the Yellow Jackets, both by a score of 4-2.