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Ohio State and Wisconsin fall to Notre Dame

Anne Loughery | Monday, February 2, 2004

The women’s tennis team defeated No. 48 Ohio State, 5-2, then built off its momentum to trounce Wisconsin, 7-0, this weekend. “Winning against Ohio State helped our confidence a lot” after losing 4-3 to Michigan, said junior Sarah Jane Connelly said. Connelly and sophomore Kristina Statsny started the team off strong on Saturday, defeating Ohio State’s Lindsey Adams and Sonia Ruzimovsky, 8-2. The Irish swept the doubles with freshmen Christian and Catrina Thompson claiming a 9-7 win over Erica Fisk and Jackie Leskovar, and the No. 2 nationally-ranked sophomore Lauren Connelly and senior Alicia Salas defeated Meaghan Collville and Lindsay Williams, 9-7.”[We] played better as [we] went,” Irish coach Jay Louderback said. “The key was to get ahead early in doubles.”Salas, nationally ranked 14th, capitalized on the momentum provided by the early doubles victories with a 7-6 (9-7), 6-0 win over Lindsay Williams in singles. Following suit was Christian Thompson, who posted a 6-2, 6-2 win over Fisk. Lauren Connelly contributed a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 victory over Adams. The Irish clinched the meet when Catrina Thompson edged out Leskovar 7-5, 6-4. “It was good to play so quickly after losing to Michigan,” Louderback said. “Our kids are really competitive and losing their first match was tough.”They played nervous on Thursday,” he said. “You have butterflies before every match, but then your nerves disappear later.”Overcoming that feeling of apprehension early on this weekend proved to be key to the team’s success.Sunday’s match against No. 64 Wisconsin brought Irish wins across the board beginning with Salas and Lauren Connelly’s defeat of Teresa Gonzaga and Shana McElroy 8-2. Sarah Jane Connelly and Statsny knocked off Kaylan Caiati and Lexi Goldin 8-5 to clinch the doubles point. Christian and Catrina Thompson swept doubles with an 8-5 triumph over Lindsay Martin and Katie McGaffigan. The Irish swept singles as well over Wisconsin with Salas remaining unbeaten this spring with a 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 win over McGaffigan. Christian Thompson, nationally-ranked 88th triumphed over McElroy, who started this season ranked 79th. Catrina Thompson clinched the singles point with a win against Martin. Lauren Connelly gained her third win this season, defeating Teresa Gonzaga 6-4, 6-2. Also successful was Sara Jane Connelly, who won 6-0, 7-6 (9-7) over Caiati. Statsny swept doubles, beating Goldin 6-0, 6-4.The Irish have a two-week break before their Feb. 13 meet at No. 16 Virginia Commonwealth. During this time, Louderback said the team will focus on becoming “match-tough” by making inter-squad matches an integral part of practice. “We’ll be working really hard in practice [in the next weeks],” said Sarah Jane Connelly. “Because everyone wants to beat Notre Dame.”

Contact Ann Loughery at [email protected]