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WOMEN’S TENNIS: No. 21 Irish dispose of No. 30 Deacons

Anne Loughery | Monday, January 31, 2005

Contrary to popular belief, history does not always repeat itself. Case in point – Notre Dame made history of its own Sunday afternoon, besting Wake Forest 5-2 after falling 7-0 last year. The No. 21 Irish (3-1) swept doubles and claimed four of the six singles matches en route to their victory over the No. 30 Demon Deacons (3-1). And captain Sarah Jane Connelly said revenge couldn’t be any sweeter.”That was one of the worst matches we played all last year, so it was definitely satisfying to win this year,” the senior said.At No. 3, Sarah Jane Connelly and junior Kiki Stastny jumpstarted the Irish effort, walking off the court with an 8-1 win over Blakeley Offutt and Alisha Talbot. The duo is 13-4 on the season and 3-1 this spring. Freshman Brook Buck and junior Lauren Connelly clinched the doubles point, beating Katie Martzolf and Danielle Schwartz 8-1 at No. 2 and improving their record to 14-4, and a 3-1 record in dual matches. Sarah Jane Connelly said securing the doubles point was pivotal to the team’s success.”It’s so important to get the doubles point,” Connelly said. “It’s easier to win three singles matches instead of four and there’s a lot less pressure.”Adding to the team’s momentum, sophomore twins Catrina and Christian Thompson defeated No. 33 Karin Coetzee and Ashlee Davis 8-3 at No. 1. The nationally ranked No. 2 Thompsons remain unbeaten this spring and are 12-2 this year. No. 85 Buck capitalized on the team’s momentum following singles, upsetting No. 16 Coetzee 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles. Coetzee had been a 2004 NCAA singles Championship qualifier last year, and has been ranked as high as No. 10 during her career. Coetzee, who hails from South Africa, was the runner-up in last fall’s ITA Southeast Championships. At No. 6, Alex Hirsch collected the first point for Wake Forest, beating junior Liz Donohue 6-3, 6-3. But Connelly extended her six match winning streak, putting the team within a point of the victory, besting Schwartz 6-4, 6-4 at No. 4. Stastny clinched the win for the Irish at No. 5, with a victory over Jenna Loeb 6-3, 6-1. At No. 3 singles, Christian Thompson followed up Stastny’s win, claiming a victory over Martzolf 6-2, 6-2 to extend the Irish advantage to 5-1. No. 69 Catrina Thompson was the last to walk off the courts, falling to the No. 77 Davis. In the fiercely contested match at No. 1 singles, Davis pulled ahead in the tiebreaker 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 1-0 (10-8) to tally the Deacon’s final point. Sarah Jane Connelly said although the Irish walked away with the victory Sunday afternoon, the Deacons proved to be anything but a pushover.”Wake Forest was definitely a better team than their No. 30 ranking,” Connelly said. “We really had to compete today.” The Irish will take a brief respite from competition before taking on No. 35 Harvard on Feb. 11. Connelly said the team plans to utilize that time off to recover and to revitalize themselves for the rest of their rigorous schedule. “We’re not stopping here,” Connelly said. “There’s still a lot more wins to get this season.”