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ND Women’s Tennis: Irish set to face No. 30 Wake Forest

Dan Tapetillo | Friday, January 28, 2005

This Sunday, the No. 21 Irish (2-1) are looking to avenge last season’s 7-0 loss to currently ranked No. 30 Wake Forest (2-0).

To achieve this feat, Notre Dame is looking to start the meet strong.

“After last season’s loss, we know they are going to be tough,” junior Liz Donohue said. “So we are going to have to make the most of our home-court advantage and play like we have nothing to lose.”

The Irish are hoping to set the tone early in the contest by winning the crucial doubles point.

“Winning the doubles point makes it easier,” captain Sarah Jane Connelly said. “But even though we have the talent to do it, we are still going to have to focus.”

Playing No. 1 for the Irish will be sophomores Catrina and Christian Thompson. They will face the No. 33-ranked team of Karin Coetzee and Ashlee Davis.

At No. 2 for the Irish will be freshman Brook Buck and junior Lauren Connelly.

Junior Kiki Stastny and Sarah Jane Connelly will be playing at No. 3 and are coming off an impressive win over Michigan’s Elizabeth Exon and Nina Yaftali.

In singles, No. 69-ranked Catrina Thompson will be playing No. 1 for the Irish. She will be followed by No. 85-ranked Buck.

Playing No. 3 for the Irish will be Christian Thompson. The rest of the line-up includes Lauren Connelly, Stastny and Donohue.

Although the Irish will be heading into the match with a higher ranking over Wake Forest, Notre Dame is not taking the contest too lightly.

“They may be ranked 30th, but they are definitely a top-20 team,” coach Jay Lauderback said. “They are deep and the kids at the top of their lineup are tough. They will be in the top-20 before the end of the season.”

Donohue agreed to not underestimate the talented Wake Forest.

“Ranking doesn’t mean anything because anybody can upset anybody,” she said.

However, after achieving wins over Ohio State and Michigan, Sarah Jane Connelly has full confidence in the team’s capabilities.

This confidence stems from three players who were able to comeback from early deficits in their matches and secure the win during Wednesday night’s meet against Michigan.

“Everyone is really competing. Girls have been down and have been able to comeback [in the past couple of matches],” Connelly said. “But we have to know that we can’t take anything lightly. We can’t look at rankings because everyone is tough and everyone is out to get us.”

But, if the match comes down to the last point, Donohue is confident in Notre Dame’s ability to achieve the victory because of how encouraging the team is towards each other.

“We are so supportive of each other, especially when you’re the last match out there. So it is great to know that your team is there for you,” she said.