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WOMEN’S TENNIS: Irish win one, lose one

Dan Tapetillo | Monday, January 24, 2005

Heading into Sunday’s meet versus Vanderbilt, the Irish felt almost invincible.The team started off the season right with a 6-1 win over Ohio State on Saturday. However, the Irish struggled in carrying that momentum into Sunday’s matchup against No. 6 Vanderbilt at the Eck Center.The Commodores (3-0) defeated the Irish 6-1, with the lone Irish point coming from junior Lauren Connelly at No. 4 singles. Notre Dame struggled early on, failing to claim the doubles point that gave Vanderbilt the 1-0 lead heading into the singles matches.The No. 2 Irish pairing of Lauren Connelly and Brook Buck was defeated 9-7 by the Commodores’ Amanda Fish and Taka Bertrand. At No. 3 for Notre Dame, senior captain Sarah Jane Connelly and junior Kiki Stastny suffered an 8-0 loss against Vanderbilt’s Carolina Ferrell and Amanda Taylor.However, the No.2 nationally-ranked pairing for the Irish, sophomore twins Christian and Catrina Thompson managed to defeat the No. 35 ranked duo of Audra Falk and Annie Menees 8-6. “Christian played really steady and we were trying to hang in there because Brook and Lauren’s match was really close and knew we had a shot at the double’s point,” Catrina Thompson said.In singles, No. 69 Catrina Thompson played No. 1 for the team, but suffered a 6-2, 6-0 loss to 38th ranked Falk. At No. 2 for the Irish, No. 85 Buck was upset by Bertrand 6-4, 6-2. “[Buck has] got to get used to dual matches. It is a different mentality [compared to the fall season] because once you finish playing doubles, you have to turn right back around to play singles and forget whatever just happened in the doubles match,” coach Jay Lauderback said. At No. 3, Christian Thompson loss to No. 116 Fish 2-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. For the second day in a row, Lauren Connelly won in a match tiebreaker after trailing 6-1 in the tiebreaker at No. 4 over Menees 6-7 (5-7), 6-3, 1-0 (10-6).No. 5 Stastny and No. 6 Liz Donahue also lost their singles matches 6-4, 6-3; 7-6 (9-7), 7-5. “They’ve always been a team that competes very well, especially when it comes down to the big points,” Lauderback said. Notre Dame 6, Ohio State 1The Irish came away with an impressive season opener against the No. 49 Buckeyes.In doubles, Notre Dame swept Ohio State in all three matches. Playing No. 1 for the Irish, the Thompsons defeated Caitlin O’Keefe and Anna Volberg 8-4. At No. 2, Lauren Connelly and Buck defeated the Buckeye’s Lindsey Adams and Sonia Ruzimovsky 8-5. Sarah Jane Connelly and Stastny comprised the No. 3 paring and defeated Emily DeCamilla and Meredith Vincent 8-5. In singles, Catrina Thompson played No. 1 for the Irish and defeated DeCamilla 6-2, 6-3. The match was Thompson’s debut at No. 1. At No. 2, Buck defeated Ohio State’s Adams 6-1, 6-1. Christian Thompson, No. 3 for Notre Dame, defeated the Buckeye’s O’Keefe 6-2, 6-0. Other players who won their matches included Lauren Connelly and Stastny. “It was the first of the year, so everybody was pretty nervous,” Thompson said. “It took us a little bit to get adjusted to their facility, but we pulled it out.”